• health promotion;
  • smoking cessation;
  • pre-admission clinic;
  • surgery;
  • anaesthesia;
  • nursing roles

This paper presents a pilot study evaluating a smoking cessation programme, implemented by a nurse, in surgical pre-admission clinics at The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust, Chesterfield, England. Using a quasi-experimental design, a convenience sample of 60 subjects who smoked were randomized, 30 to a control and 30 to a treatment group. Those in the treatment group received a variety of educational interventions and self-assessment questionnaires relating to smoking cessation, when attending the clinic. The control group received routine information. Data were collected using the combined interview and questionnaire method. There was a significant increase in positive behaviour on admission to hospital in the treatment group (80% stopped or reduced smoking), compared to a control group (50% stopped or reduced smoking), particularly in subjects who did not intend to reduce or stop before admission. The level of satisfaction with the service and information relating to smoking cessation was also significantly higher in the treatment group. Subjects described the approach of the nurse and a leaflet devised for the study, as the most helpful aspects of the programme. The study highlights how the nurse, using appropriate theory to underpin such a programme, can facilitate smokers' intention to stop or reduce tobacco consumption prior to hospital admission, and help them to prepare for their surgery, anaesthesia, and the hospital's no smoking policy.