Tobacco Screening and Use in Hospitalized Adolescents at a Children's Hospital

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Hospital Pediatrics


OBJECTIVES: With this study, we aim to evaluate inpatient adolescent screening for tobacco, as well as the relationship between tobacco and other substance use, tobacco types used, and cessation interventions. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of inpatient hospital admissions of adolescents aged $13 years to a tertiary care, freestanding, urban children's hospital in 2018 was performed. Tobacco use-related variables were entered into a multiple logistic regression model in which the adjusted odds ratios were determined. Variables found to be significant in bivariate analysis were included as covariates in the model by using SAS 9.4 software (SAS Institute, Inc, Cary, NC). RESULTS: There were 4412 admissions of adolescents aged $13 years during the study period, of which 370 (8.4%) adolescents were screened for tobacco use by physicians. Significant factors associated with being screened included age 16 to 18 years, white race, and admission to the pediatric hospital medicine service. There were 93 (25.1%) tobacco users identified, of whom the majority reported concomitant caretaker use (78.6%), alcohol use (52.7%), and marijuana use (70.8%). The most commonly reported tobacco type used was cigarettes at 50.5%. Cessation intervention was documented in 8 tobacco users. CONCLUSIONS: Tobacco use screening of hospitalized adolescents aged $13 years was performed infrequently and was not standardized among physicians. Tobacco use was identified in 25.1% of those screened, and cessation interventions were inconsistently performed. This study suggests a need for universal, standardized tobacco use screening in inpatient adolescents and identifies a missed opportunity for treatment of tobacco dependence.

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