Comparative effectiveness of post-discharge strategies for hospitalized smokers: study protocol for the Helping HAND 2 randomized controlled trial.


Smoking cessation interventions for hospitalized smokers are effective in promoting smoking cessation, but only if the tobacco dependence treatment continues after the patient leaves the hospital. Sustaining tobacco dependence treatment after hospital discharge is a challenge for health care systems. Our previous single-site randomized controlled trial demonstrated the effectiveness of an intervention that facilitated the delivery of comprehensive tobacco cessation treatment, including both medication and counseling, after hospital discharge. We subsequently streamlined the intervention model to increase its potential for dissemination. This new model is being tested in a larger multi-site trial with broader eligibility criteria in order to enroll a more representative sample of hospitalized smokers. This paper describes the trial design and contrasts it with the earlier study.