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Smoking behaviours of Hong Kong Chinese hospitalised patients and predictors of smoking abstinence after discharge: a cross-sectional study
  1. Ka Yan Ho1,
  2. William Ho Cheung Li1,
  3. Katherine Ka Wai Lam1,
  4. Man Ping Wang1,
  5. Wei Xia1,
  6. Lok Yin Ho1,
  7. Kathryn Choon Beng Tan2,
  8. Hubert Kit Man Sin3,
  9. Elaine Cheung4,
  10. Maisy Pik Hung Mok4,
  11. Tai Hing Lam5
  1. 1 School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  3. 3 Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong, China
  4. 4 Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong, China
  5. 5 School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr William Ho Cheung Li; william3{at}


Objectives Patients admitted to hospitals represent an excellent teachable moment for smoking cessation, as they are required to abstain from tobacco use during hospitalisation. Nevertheless, smoking behaviours of hospitalised patients, and factors that lead to smoking abstinence thereafter, remain relatively underexplored, particularly in a Hong Kong Chinese context. This study aimed to examine the smoking behaviours of hospitalised patients and explore factors leading to their abstaining from cigarette use after being hospitalised.

Design A cross-sectional design was employed.

Setting This study was conducted in three outpatient clinics in different regions in Hong Kong.

Participants A total of 382 recruited Chinese patients.

Primary and secondary outcome measures The patients were asked to complete a structured questionnaire that assessed their smoking behaviours before, during and after hospitalisation.

Results The results indicated 23.6% of smokers smoked secretly during their hospital stay, and about 76.1% of smokers resumed smoking after discharge. Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that number of days of hospitalisation admission in the preceding year (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.27; p=0.036), patients’ perceived correlation between smoking and their illness (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.17; p=0.032), withdrawal symptoms experienced during hospitalisation (OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.58 to 0.97; p=0.027) and smoking cessation support from healthcare professionals (OR 1.18; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.36; p=0.014) were significant predictors of smoking abstinence after discharge.

Conclusions The results of this study will aid development of appropriate and innovative smoking cessation interventions that can help patients achieve more successful smoking abstinence and less relapse.

Trial registration number NCT02866760.

  • public health
  • epidemiology
  • primary care

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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors HCWL, KYH, KKWL, MPW and THL conceived and designed the study and monitored the whole research process. HCWL, KYH, KKWL, WX and LYH searched the literature, reviewed the literature and extracted data. HCWL, KYH, KKWL, MPW, LYH and THL analysed and interpreted the data. HCWL and KYH drafted the manuscript. HCWL, KYH, KKWL, MPW, LYH, KCBT, HKMS, EC, MPHM and THL critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript. We all agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding This study was supported by Health and Medical Research Fund, Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government (grant no. 13143141).

  • Disclaimer The funder had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was attained from three different Research Ethics Committees, including the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (UW 15-651), the New Territories West Cluster Clinical and Research Ethics Committee (NTWC/CREC/16005) and the Kowloon Central/Kowloon East Cluster Research Ethics Committee (KC/KE-15-0221/ER-1).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement We do not have ethics permission to share the data.

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