Tobacco (49) How can people be better informed? (5) Smoking cessation during hospitalization (2)

12 March, 2023

Dear Eduardo,

Thank you for highlighting the importance of hospitalization as an opportunity for smoking cessation. I have a relative who previously smoked and drank heavily, was admitted to hospital with a fracture, and stopped both completely. Fifteen years later they are a happy non-smoker and non-drinker. In the hospital, they had been given brief advice, as one would get from a GP. Just a few seconds, perhaps repeated by more than one health professional.

Your message makes me think - perhaps, at a minumum, 'brief advice' should be a checkbox for every patient who is a smoker. (Perhaps it already is in some settings?) The intervention should be very clear and simple, and deliverable within minutes.

Can you say a bit more about the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation? I went to the URL you gave - - but could not find the actual model. I went to their Education and training section to find a 10-minute presentation about the OMSC, but it was blocked with the statement: "The e-learning courses are designed to complement the OMSC program and are only accessible to sites that are currently implementing the OMSC."

At first sight, the OMSC doesn't score well for accessibility, but perhaps I'm missing something.

As a question for all: what is the simplest, quickest way for a health professional to give brief advice (a) in a primary care setting, and (b) in a hospital setting (they are likely very similar)? Which teaching aid would you recommend for use in these settings? Who are the leading producers of such tools? Are they available in multiple languages?

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: