During the study, the researchers looked at 639 patients who smoked at the time of their hospitalisation for heart attack.
Six months later, 297 of the patients - approximately 47 percent of them - had quit smoking.
The research team found that the chances of quitting were greater among patients who received discharge recommendations for cardiac rehabilitation and those who were treated at a facility offering an inpatient smoking cessation program.
However, individual counselling was not associated with quit rates.
"The findings are important because cardiac rehabilitation and hospital-based smoking cessation programs appear to be under-utilized in current clinical practice and should be potentially considered as a structural measure of health care quality for patients with heart attack," said Susmita Parashar, study author, division of cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine.
She said the study shows that patients recovering from a heart attack are more likely to quit smoking if they are referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program or if a hospital-based smoking cessation program is available to them.
The report appears in Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.