Tobacco use contributes to $53 to $73 billion per year in healthcare expenditures and causes nearly 440 000 deaths per year. Given the strong cause-effect relationship between smoking and poor health outcomes, it is critical that smokers are identified early and advised about smoking cessation. Furthermore, the Joint Commission now mandates that tobacco cessation advice be given to patients admitted with heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction. As such, an interdisciplinary group at an urban academic medical center developed and implemented a tobacco cessation protocol with the goal of identifying and targeting inpatient smokers through evidence-based education and counseling. The protocol focused on admission assessment, education, and provision of standing orders for medication treatment for nicotine withdrawal and/or tobacco cessation therapy during the inpatient encounter and referral for outpatient counseling at discharge.

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