Smoking cessation after a first cardiovascular event reduces the risk of recurrent vascular events and mortality. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize data on the rates, predictors, and the impact of smoking cessation in patients after a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched to identify all published studies providing relevant data through May 20, 2021. Random-effects meta-analysis method was used to pool proportions. Some findings were summarized narratively.
Twenty-five studies were included. The pooled smoking cessation rates were 51.0% (8 studies, n = 1738) at 3 months, 44.4% (7 studies, n = 1920) at 6 months, 43.7% (12 studies, n = 1604) at 12 months, and 49.8% (8 studies, n = 2549) at 24 months or more of follow-up. Increased disability and intensive smoking cessation support programs were associated with a higher likelihood of smoking cessation, whereas alcohol consumption and depression had an inverse effect. Two studies showed that patients who quit smoking after a stroke or a TIA had substantially lower risk of recurrent stroke, death, and a composite of stroke, myocardial infarction, and death.
Smoking cessation in stroke survivors is associated with reduced recurrent vascular events and death. About half of smokers who experience a stroke or a TIA stop smoking afterwards. Those with low post-stroke disability, who consume alcohol, or have depression are less likely to quit. Intensive support programs can increase the likelihood of smoking cessation.

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