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HHS HealthBeat (January 2, 2013)

Sick and smoking

An ashtray with a no smoking sign.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Smoking can lead to diseases that can drive you to a hospital, and the craving can drive some people to keep up smoking even after they arrive.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is among those with a ban on smoking in the buildings. But the ban does not extend outdoors – also, commonly the case. Researcher Susan Regan reports on what her survey of smoker patients found:

“Patients were asked whether they had smoked at any time during their stay in the hospital, and about 18 percent of the patients we surveyed acknowledge smoking during their hospital stay.”

Regan recommends that if the hospital offers smoking cessation help, such as counseling and nicotine patches, get it.

The study in Archives of Internal Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 2, 2013