Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., with about 480,000 deaths per year. Over the past 50 years, smoking prevalence has dropped from 42% to approximately 12%, saving 8 million lives. However, the decline in smoking and tobacco use has been slower among individuals of lower SES, so strong incentives suggest targeting interventions for this population.
Emergency departments (EDs) disproportionately treat individuals with lower incomes and irregular access to primary care. Hence, ED visits present an opportune time to discuss patients’ tobacco use and initiate tobacco treatment and aftercare6 for this vulnerable and understudied population.
Read the research article in Science Direct.