Smokers hospitalised for a heart attack had better chances of quitting the habit after intensive counselling by the hospital staff, according to a new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A study by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Canada compared cardiac patient groups receiving an intensive smoking-cessation programme with those being offered only minimal advice from nurses.

Patients in the intensive group were twice as likely to quit smoking after a year when compared to the other group, the study revealed.

Increased abstinence in cardiac patients would result in significant reductions in cardiac events and hospital costs, Reuters reported.

The in-hospital counselling was also supplemented with materials for them to take home and phone-based follow ups for two months after they were discharged.