Tobacco Cessation in the Emergency Department

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
Close-up hand signal to refuse cigarette sent by one hand on white background.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We are leading the effort to have hospital emergency departments help people stop smoking.
  • We conduct ongoing clinical trials on the effectiveness of tobacco cessation intervention in the ED.
  • Our tobacco cessation experts are available at the emergency department six days per week.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking or chewing tobacco may increase a patient’s risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease, lung cancer and stroke. While smokers account for less than 17 percent of the U.S. population, up to 30 to 40 percent of patients seen in emergency departments are smokers.

With this important knowledge of how many emergency room patients smoke, Yale Medicine is at the forefront of a growing movement to initiate smoking cessation interventions there, including several tobacco intervention-related research studies, says Steven L. Bernstein, MD, an emergency medicine physician and the principal investigator of the Yale Medicine emergency department’s tobacco-related studies.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.