Patients at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute Have Help Quitting Tobacco, Thanks to Grant with University of Washington

May 13, 2015

The proportion of patients in inpatient rehabilitation who use tobacco is higher than in the general U.S. population. Despite this, programs to help patients quit tobacco use during inpatient rehabilitation are not usually available during hospitalization.

Supported by a grant from Pfizer, Inc. through a program with the Smoking Cessation Leadership at the University of California San Francisco, St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington will develop and implement a tobacco cessation program for patients at St. Luke's. It will begin during patients' hospitalization, with follow-up support after discharge including community tobacco cessation program referrals or rural resources through a pharmacy.

"This important study targets a risk factor that can lead to a second stroke or heart attack," said Chris Greer, pharmacy manager at St. Luke's. "Hospitalization is a key window of opportunity for patients to begin modifying behaviors, and with this grant, pharmacists can provide immediate tools for improving their health and referral for resources to ensure their success after they leave the hospital."

UW experts in tobacco dependence treatment will work with St. Luke's pharmacists to evaluate current approaches to supporting quit attempts in patients, and assist with designing the innovative pharmacist-driven tobacco cessation program.

"The St. Luke´s team has the enthusiasm and commitment to make this happen," said Beatriz Carlini, Ph.D., MPH, research scientist with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at UW and principal investigator. "This project, once implemented, will maximize the chances of smokers quitting tobacco for good."

Patients who use tobacco have a more challenging experience in inpatient rehabilitation. For example, St. Luke's patients who use tobacco have a longer hospital stay and require more pain medication. This project aims to assist in changing one of the few modifiable risk factors for additional harm.

About St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute

The region's largest, free-standing Level I Trauma Rehabilitation hospital, St. Luke's provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation services for people of all ages who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation or other injury or illness requiring rehabilitative care. St. Luke's is accredited by Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International. Thousands of patients choose St. Luke's for inpatient rehabilitation services at the main campus and outpatient therapy services at 10 locations throughout Spokane. For more information on St. Luke's visit:                                                          Facebook:

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Fianna Dickson
(509) 232-8300
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St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute
711 S. Cowley St.
Spokane, WA 99202-1330

Inpatient Information: (509) 473-6058
Outpatient Information: (509) 473-6869