Cochrane Summaries

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Does support and intervention from nurses help people to stop smoking?

Rice V, Hartmann-Boyce J, Stead LF
Published Online: 
12 August 2013


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 health care. The main aim of this review was to determine if nursing-delivered interventions can help adult smokers to stop smoking.

Study characteristics

This review of clinical trials covered 49 studies in which nurses delivered a stop smoking intervention to smokers. More than 17,000 participants were included in the main analysis, including hospitalized adults and adults in the general community. The most recent search was conducted in June 2013. All studies reported whether or not participants had quit smoking at six months or longer.

Results and quality of evidence

This review found moderate quality evidence that advice and support from nurses could increase people's success in quitting smoking, especially in a hospital setting. There was moderate evidence which found similar advice and encouragement given by nurses at health checks or prevention activities seems to be less effective, but may still have some impact. Results were not consistent across all studies and in some cases there were not very many studies contributing to comparisons.

This record should be cited as: 
Rice V, Hartmann-Boyce J, Stead LF. Nursing interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD001188. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001188.pub4
Assessed as up to date: 
27 June 2013