Tobacco use and psychiatric comorbidity among adolescents in substance abuse treatment

Jennifer Cole, Erin Stevenson, Robert Walker, T. K. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Adolescents in substance abuse treatment have approximately four times higher rates of tobacco use compared with adolescents in the general population, yet many substance abuse treatment programs do not provide tobacco cessation interventions. This study examined change in tobacco use among 151 adolescents in state-funded substance abuse treatment from intake to 12-month follow-up in relation to psychiatric comorbidity and substance use. Most adolescents (67.5%) used tobacco at intake and follow-up. Having a diagnosis of a mood, anxiety, or behavioral disorder was significantly associated with change in tobacco use. Individuals with a psychiatric disorder were less likely to be nonusers of tobacco than to be individuals who continued tobacco use (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.153, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.040-0.587, . p < .01), and they were less likely to have initiated tobacco use at follow-up than individuals who continued tobacco use (adjusted OR = 0.320, 95% CI = 0.105-0.970, . p < .05). Contrary to the hypothesis, alcohol use and drug use during the 12-month follow-up was not significantly related to change in tobacco use. Adolescents in substance abuse treatment with comorbid psychiatric disorders may be particularly vulnerable to continuing tobacco use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, Division of Behavioral Health, under a contract with the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research.


  • Adolescents
  • Comorbidity
  • Mental health
  • Posttreatment
  • Smoking
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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