ABC in ED results of the "ASSET" study: outcomes of "Brief Interventions" to stop smoking given in the emergency department of a central city hospital (2016)
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Auckland District Health Board, Smokefree Services, New Zealand
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A306
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Studies indicate that at any one time, about 70% of smokers want to quit smoking. Asking about smoking behaviour (A), giving brief advice to stop (B), and making an offer of support to do so (C), by all healthcare practitioners, this ABC approach is integral to New Zealand reaching its Smokefree 2025 aspirational goal.

Retrospectively the names and basic demographic details of all current smokers discharged from ED in each of 6 months were supplied for the project and the data was scrutinized to ensure that documented evidence existed to show that brief advice had been given by professional departmental staff. Criteria for study inclusion were:
  • discharged home from the Emergency Department
  • given brief advice to stop smoking
  • data were clearly documented in the hospital record
  • candidate aged over 18 years
A telephone based questionnaire was developed and used for this study.

Over the 6 month period, 500 patients met our eligibility, the current analysis is based on 195 completed participant responses of which:
  • 30% attempted to stop smoking (20% of subjects had 1 quit attempt)
  • 21% attempted to quit "cold turkey"
  • 20% used some form of smoking cessation "medication"(8% used NRT) -these are not mutually exclusive
  • 3% were still quit at the time of phone interview
  • 50% smoked less than usual (with 15% reducing their daily intake by 10 cigarettes or more per day and 14% reducing by 5-9 cigarettes per day).

The majority of participants agreed that being asked about their smoking behaviour was acceptable in an ED setting.
There were no features that predicted who might have the greatest benefit from receiving brief advice.
Therefore the ABC approach should be incorporated into all ED assessments.
Funding: Funding provided by the NZ MoH, Tobacco Control Department.

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