Implementation of smoking cessation treatment in substance use disorder treatment settings: a review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background: The high prevalence of smoking among individuals receiving treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) has led to repeated calls for integrating smoking cessation treatment into these settings. Objectives: This review summarizes key findings from the research on the implementation of smoking cessation in SUD treatment. Methods: PubMed searches of articles published from 2000 to 2015 yielded 48 empirical studies that focused on the delivery of smoking cessation in the US specialty SUD treatment settings in which organizations and counselors were the unit of analysis. Most studies used observational designs to gather data from organizations and counselors. Organizational studies show that few SUD treatment programs offer cessation counseling or pharmacotherapy. Organizational barriers include limited training, inadequate resources, and cultural norms that do not recognize smoking cessation as part of the organization’s mission. Smoking cessation services are more likely to be available in medically oriented treatment settings, larger treatment programs, those offering a broader array of comprehensive services, and those that are more reliant on fee-for-service reimbursement (e.g., insurance, Medicaid). Surveys of counselors also show very low implementation. Counselors’ personal skills and attitudes, their perceptions of managerial and coworker support for smoking cessation, and the availability of resources and reimbursement to support these services are correlated with implementation. State policies requiring treatment programs to offer tobacco treatment increase both adoption and implementation, yet these services continue to reach only modest percentages of the patients. Conclusions: Few studies have tested specific implementation strategies. Such research is needed to determine how to accelerate the diffusion of these evidence-based practices to the SUD treatment field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Implementation
  • counselors
  • smoking cessation
  • substance use disorder treatment
  • tobacco treatment
  • treatment programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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