Many of nearly 7 million smokers who are hospitalized each year plan to stay quit after they leave the hospital. Most, however, relapse after discharge. This is a secondary analysis of a large Midwestern hospital-based smoking cessation trial that occurred between July 2011 and May 2013 to better understand how quickly smokers relapse and the predictors of rapid relapse. Of 942 participants who completed follow up, 25% returned to smoking within a day after hospital discharge. Among these rapid relapses, 36.6% relapsed within one-hour of leaving the hospital, 35.3% between one and 24 h, and 28.1% relapsed one-day post-discharge. Predictors with the highest odds for rapid relapse (within a day of hospital discharge) included tobacco use during hospitalization (OR, 7.37, [95% CI, 3.85–14.13], P < 0.01); low confidence for quitting (OR, 2.07, [95% CI, 1.49–2.88], P < 0.01); and not setting a quit date (OR, 1.76, [95% CI, 1.25–2.48], P < 0.01). Other significant predictors included higher nicotine dependence, shorter length of stay, and depression. Patients who are vulnerable to rapid relapse may benefit from policies that discourage leaving the hospital to smoke. In addition, hospital interventions that target smokers' confidence in quitting, encourage setting a quit date, and addressing nicotine dependence and depression may also be effective at supporting smoker's intentions to make their pre-admission cigarette their last.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT01305928