UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Impact and Duration of Brief Surgeon-Delivered Smoking Cessation Advice on Attitudes Regarding Nicotine Dependence and Tobacco Harms for Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery

Publication Date


Document Type



Substance Abuse and Addiction | Surgery


BACKGROUND: Despite the recognized benefits of smoking cessation, many clinicians question if a brief smoking cessation intervention can help dedicated smokers with peripheral arterial disease understand nicotine dependence and harms related to smoking. We investigated the impact and durability of a multimodal smoking cessation intervention on patient attitudes regarding nicotine dependence and the health effects of smoking.

METHODS: We conducted a pilot cluster-randomized trial of a brief smoking cessation intervention at 8 vascular surgery practices between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015. Compared with control sites, patients at intervention sites received protocolized brief cessation counseling, medications, and referrals to a quitline. After their clinic visit and again at 3 months, participants completed a brief survey about patient attitudes regarding nicotine dependence and the health effects of smoking. Responses to questions were analyzed using chi-squared test and Student's t-test.

RESULTS: All trial participants (n = 156) complete the initial survey, and 75 (45%) participants completed the follow-up survey. Intervention and control patients both reported a greater than 30-pack-year history (80% vs. 90%, P = 0.07) and previous failed quit attempts (77% vs. 78%, P = 0.8). Compared with usual care, patients in the intervention group were more likely to describe hearing advice to quit from their surgeon (98% vs. 77%, P < 0.001), and expressed "a lot" or "some" interest in quitting (95.4% vs. 85.7%, P = 0.05). Patients in the intervention group were also more likely to acknowledge their addictive behaviors, consistently scoring higher on question bank items regarding nicotine addiction (52.9 vs. 48.0, P = 0.006) and the negative health effects of smoking (scaled score 56.6 vs. 50.6, P = 0.001). When resurveyed 3 months after intervention, patients in the intervention group had larger declines in nicotine dependence and health effect domains, suggesting durable impact of the intervention on patient attitudes regarding nicotine addiction and smoking harms.

CONCLUSIONS: Brief smoking cessation counseling by a vascular surgeon increases patient interest in smoking cessation and awareness of smoking harms, and this effect was durable 3 months after intervention. This evidence suggests that even brief counseling within a surgical clinic has the potential to impact patient desire to quit.

DOI of Published Version



Ann Vasc Surg. 2017 Jan;38:113-121. Epub 2016 Aug 10. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of vascular surgery

PubMed ID