Nursing interventions effective for smoking cessation

Clinical question: 
How effective are nursing-delivered smoking cessation interventions?
Bottom line: 
There was moderate-quality evidence that advice and support from nurses could increase people's success in quitting smoking (for at least 6 months), especially in a hospital setting. Similar advice and encouragement given by nurses at health checks or prevention activities seemed to be less effective, but still had some impact. Providing additional physiological feedback, in the form of spirometry and demonstrated carbon monoxide level, as an adjunct to nursing intervention did not appear to have an effect. Nicotine replacement therapy has been shown to improve quit rates when used in conjunction with counselling for behavioural change and should be considered an important adjunct, but not a replacement for nursing interventions.1
Results were not consistent across all studies and, in some cases, there were not very many studies contributing to comparisons. A difference among the studies that may have contributed to the differences in outcome was baseline cigarette use. There was an inverse relationship between number of cigarettes smoked per day and success in quitting.
Most smokers want to quit and may be helped by advice and support from healthcare professionals. Nurses are the largest healthcare workforce and are involved in virtually all levels of healthcare.
Review CD#: 
June, 2014
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy