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Opportunistic screening in the emergency department
  1. James France
  1. Emergency Department, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Worcester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James France, Emergency Department, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Worcester, UK; jamesfrance{at}

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Smoking cessation is currently topical with recent government announcements regarding restricting the sale of disposable vapes and a consultation on raising the legal age of buying tobacco from 18 years, so that anyone born after a certain year will never be able to buy cigarettes legally. This edition of the EMJ contains a randomised controlled multicentre trial of smoking cessation initiated in the emergency department (ED).1 The intervention group received brief smoking cessation advice as well as provision of an e-cigarette starter kit and referral to the local stop smoking services, while the control group received advice on how to self-refer to the local stop smoking service. The 6-month follow-up results showed a statistically significant greater chance of self-reported abstinence from smoking for the previous 7 days in the intervention group compared with the control group. The intervention was delivered by dedicated smoking cessation advisors based in the ED either while the patient was waiting or after discharge.

This opportunistic screening and intervention which targets the ‘captive audience’ of an ED waiting room as well as other areas of the ED …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Chair of RCEM Quality in Emergency Care Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer-reviewed.

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