Sustainment of smoking cessation programs in substance use disorder treatment organizations

Hannah K. Knudsen, Jessica Muilenburg, Lillian T. Eby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Introduction: The majority of individuals who enter substance use disorder (SUD) treatment also use tobacco. Integrating smoking cessation services into SUD treatment may have substantial public health benefits, but few studies have examined whether organizations offering counseling-based smoking cessation programs sustain them over time. Methods: This study examines sustainment of smoking cessation programs using 2 waves of data collected from 150 SUD treatment organizations. Data were collected in 2006-2008 and 2009-2010 using face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, and mailed surveys. Logistic regression models of sustainment were estimated with administrators' attitudes toward smoking cessation and organizational barriers as covariates. Results: About 60.2% of these SUD treatment organizations sustained their counseling-based smoking cessation programs at follow-up. Sustainment was significantly more likely when administrators' baseline attitudes about the impact of smoking cessation on recovery were more supportive (odds ratio, OR = 1.84; 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.13-3.01; p =.015) and when programs were accredited (OR = 3.95, 95% CI = 1.65-9.50, p =.002). Worsening over time of barriers encompassing staff interest, staff skills, and competing treatment demands were negatively associated with sustainment (OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.42-0.81, p =.001). Conclusions: These findings provided empirical support for theoretical perspectives regarding the importance of leadership and staff expertise in promoting sustainment of innovations over time. Although the majority of SUD treatment organizations sustained their smoking cessation programs, the 40% rate of discontinuation is concerning and highlights the ongoing challenges faced by tobacco control efforts in substance abuse treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1068
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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