tobacco, smoking, family medicine, primary care, hospital utilization, health outcomes


Medicine and Health Sciences



Objectives: In Appalachia, tobacco smoking rates are significantly higher than the United States average, and many of the comorbidities that exist with tobacco are prominent. The researchers investigated the impact of tobacco smoking on patients for one year of health outcomes at our resident primary care clinic.

Methods: The present study examined outpatient clinic charts and hospital records for a calendar year to determine patient self-reported tobacco rates. Patient medical comorbidities were tracked as well as rates of hospital utilization during the calendar year, and those figures were compared for a group of 90 patients who currently smoke and another group of 90 patients who have never smoked.

Results: Tobacco smokers in the present study were more likely to have a history of several medical comorbidities including COPD, musculoskeletal problems, psychiatric treatment, and substance abuse issues. Additionally, tobacco smokers were more likely to have visited the emergency department and to have been admitted to the hospital during the year.

Conclusions: The problem of tobacco smoking is complex and primary care clinics provide a wealth of information to investigate numerous comorbid concerns. Consistent with prior research, tobacco users in this study were at greater risk for many medical problems.

Abstract Word Count: 198