Brief report: Pain and readiness to quit smoking cigarettes

Ellen J. Hahn, Mary Kay Rayens, Kenneth L. Kirsh, Steven D. Passik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study explored the relationship between smoking and significant pain. It was hypothesized that readiness to quit smoking would be negatively affected by pain issues. A cross-sectional design was used in this phone-based survey with randomly selected adult smokers. A total of 307 adult participants in the control group from a larger Quit and Win Study participated in the interview. Participants were contacted at home and completed a 20-min phone survey including measures of pain, stress, depressive symptoms, social support, tobacco use status, and readiness to quit smoking. A total of 28% reported significant pain in the past week. Participants who experienced significant pain smoked more cigarettes per day than those who did not report significant pain. However, pain was not associated with readiness to quit. More than half (58%) of those with significant pain were in the contemplation stage of change or higher. The fact that smokers with pain were just as likely as those without significant pain to be ready to quit demands that each individual patient with pain be assessed for readiness to quit so that a tailored approach can be adopted either to motivate the patient to quit or to assist the patient with evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment strategies if he or she wants such treatment. Placing formal tobacco dependence treatment programs within pain clinics and addressing pain in smoking cessation programs is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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