The study, conducted by investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Deep South Center on Effectiveness at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, analyzed the patient records of over 16,000 smokers, finding that 41% had received counseling. Compared with those not counseled, those who had received inpatient counseling had lower 30-day (2.0% vs. 3.0%), 60-day (3.7% vs. 5.6%), and 2-year mortality (25.0% vs. 30%). Even after adjusting for other factors such as demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions, those counseled were still less likely to die in the first year.
Writing in the article, Thomas K. Houston, MD, MPH, explains, "The positive association of smoking cessation counseling with survival that we observed provides evidence for an association suggested, but not directly demonstrated, by previous reports on the impact of counseling on cessation and the impact of cessation on mortality. In addition, the association of counseling with mortality was seen early, within 30 days. A major conclusion of the U.S. Surgeon General's report Health Effects of Smoking Cessation is that quitting smoking has an immediate effect on mortality. However, the 'immediate' effect referred to is the reduction in mortality over the first year of cessation. Our research suggests an even more immediate positive association within 30 days of quitting after a cardiac event. Because we observed much of the overal
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Elsevier Health Sciences