Background: The adoption of a smoke-free hospital campus policy is often a highly publicized local event. National media coverage suggests that the trend toward adopting these policies is growing, and this publicity can frequently lead hospital administrators to consider the adoption of such policies within their own institutions. Little is actually known, however, about the prevalence of these policies or their impact.
Objectives: To determine the national prevalence of smoke-free hospital campus policies and the relationship between these policies and performance on nationally-standardized measures for smoking cessation counseling in U.S. hospitals.
Methods: 4,494 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals were invited to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing current smoking policies and future plans. Smoking cessation counseling rates were assessed through nationally-standardized measures.
Results: The 1,916 hospitals responding to the survey (43%) were statistically similar to non-responders with respect to performance measure rates, smoking policies, and demographic characteristics. Approximately 45% of responders reported an existing smoke-free hospital campus policy. With respect to demographics, higher proportions of smoke-free campus policies were reported in non-teaching and non-profit hospitals. Smoke-free campus hospitals were also more likely to provide smoking cessation counseling to acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia patients who smoke (p<0.001).
Conclusions: By February 2008, 45% of U.S. hospitals (up from approximately 3% in 1992) had adopted a smoke-free campus policy; another 15% reported actively pursuing the adoption of such a policy. By the end of 2009, it is likely that the majority of U.S. hospitals will have a smoke-free campus.
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