Using a Hospitalization to Stop Smoking

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jun 18, 2008
A hospital stay can provide an opportunity to stop smoking for good You might be able to plan a quit attempt before you go into the hospital or obtain treatment for tobacco dependence while you are in the hospital. This is best done using a combination of medication and/or behavioral counseling.

Nicotine replacement, bupropion (Zyban), and varenicline (Chantix) can be used during most hospitalizations and continued when you leave. If you know you are going to the hospital talk with your healthcare provider ahead of time and plan ahead to use the hospitalization as a time to “detox”. Visit www.becomeanex.org as part of your comprehensive plan. If your hospital stay comes unexpectedly, make sure you let your nurse and doctor know that you have been smoking and would like medication to help you manage withdrawal while you are hospitalized. When you leave the hospital make sure that you have medication, a follow-up appointment with a tobacco treatment specialist or your health-care provider, and a plan to help you keep on track.

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org