Aims: Treatment guidelines for patients with established coronary disease emphasize the importance of smoking cessation. We aimed to study smoking behaviour in European patients, as well as trends in this behaviour over time. We further aimed to evaluate the relation between selected patient characteristics and smoking cessation. Methods and results: We studied patients who were enrolled in the second European Action on Secondary Prevention through Intervention to Reduce Events (EUROASPIRE) survey, which was undertaken in 15 European countries during 1999-2000. Consecutive patients, ≤70 years were identified after coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, admission for myocardial infarction, or admission for myocardial ischaemia. Patients were then interviewed, at a median of 1.5 years after the index event. During the interview, data were collected on a broad range of clinical characteristics, including smoking status, which was validated by breath carbon monoxide levels. The prevalence of smoking was compared with data from the first EUROASPIRE survey, which had a similar design, and was conducted during 1995-96. In EUROASPIRE II, 5551 patients attended the interview and 1172 (21%) were (persistent) smokers. No decrease in smoking prevalence was observed similar to the first survey (19%). The proportion of smokers was 39% in patients aged <50, 26% in patients aged 50-60, and 14% in patients aged ≥60. Men and women had similar prevalence. A verbal advice to give up smoking by a medical professional was given to 99% of the 2244 pre-event smokers, and 48% actually stopped. This proportion was relatively high in elderly patients ≥60 years (53%), patients with a university level of education (56%), and patients with a myocardial infarction as the index event (52%). The proportion of stopped smokers was low in patients <50 years (41%) and in patients with myocardial ischaemia as the index event (38%). Conclusion: The prevalence of smoking in European patients with established coronary disease is too high: one out of each five patients smokes, despite a personal advice to stop. Thus, still there is a need for the development of effective smoking cessation programmes.

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Keywords Euro Heart Survey, EUROASPIRE, Preventive cardiology, Smoking
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Journal European Heart Journal
Scholte op Reimer, W.J.M, de Swart, E, de Bacquer, D, Pyörälä, K, Keil, M, Heidrich, J, … Boersma, H. (2006). Smoking behaviour in European patients with established coronary heart disease. European Heart Journal, 27(1), 35–41. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehi497