Introduction: Smoking can induce the onset of Crohn's disease in genetically susceptible patients and may accelerate progression and disease severity. There is a paucity of information as to patient knowledge of the impact of smoking on disease progression. The aim of this study was to assess patient awareness, initiate smoking cessation therapy and monitor the effectiveness of an active smoking cessation programme in patients with Crohn's disease.
Methods: All patients with a diagnosis of Crohn's disease over a ten year period were identified from a prospectively managed database. Details of smoking history and patient knowledge of the link between Crohn's disease and smoking were collected through a telephone questionnaire. Current smokers who wished to quit were enrolled in a smoking cessation programme and followed prospectively for 12 months.
Results: 340 patients were identified with 281 eligible for inclusion. 181 patients agreed to a telephone survey (64.4% patient uptake). Smokers had an increased incidence of surgical intervention (OR 2.2; CI 1.02, 4.78 P = 0.043). Awareness of the link between smoking and Crohn's disease was highest in the current smoking cohort and lowest in the non-smoking cohort (CS:NS; 79.5%:43% p < 0.001). 29% of patients with a smoking history had previously been offered smoking cessation therapy. 77% of current smokers opted for smoking cessation therapy. At 6 months 53% of these patients remained smoke free and 37% at 12 months.
Conclusion: In patients with Crohn's disease, information alone is ineffective at achieving smoking cessation. Good cessation rates are achievable if information is supported by active smoking cessation therapy.