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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 1:45 PM

Smoking Cessation Care for Alcohol and Other Drug Clients: 'Too Hard'?

Raoul Walsh, PhD1, Jennifer A. Bowman, BSc, (Hons), PhD2, Flora Tzelepis3, and Christophe Lecathelinais3. (1) NSW Cancer Council and University of Newcastle, Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology, Locked mail Bag 10, Wallsend NSW 2287, Australia, (2) Psychology, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan 2308, Newcastle, Australia, (3) Centre for Health research and Psycho-oncology, University of Newcastle, NSW Cancer Council, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend NSW 2287, Australia

Objective: To understand current practice as well as staff attitudinal factors that will need to be considered in moving forward with the provision of smoking care to alcohol and other drug clients.

Methods: A survey of all AOD agencies across Australia was undertaken, by mailed self-administered questionnaire (for the manager and a randomly selected staff member): 260 of 435 eligible agencies responding. The survey sought information as to how smoking was regulated as well as attitudes concerning regulation and the provision of smoking cessation care.

Results: Most agencies indicated having a written policy regulating smoking, with a large majority also reporting smoking to be banned indoors. Enforcement however was acknowledged to be an issue, particularly by staff as opposed to managers. One quarter of agencies reported having smoking cessation intervention policies and one third of clients were perceived to receive ‘adequate' smoking advice. Recording of smoking status however was the only intervention strategy reported to occur in a majority of cases. Concerns about the potential negative impact of smoking intervention and a perceived lack of client interest were identified as key barriers.

Smoking cessation receives too little systematic attention within AOD treatment settings. Staff education and training, policy initiatives and further intervention research are urgently needed to facilitate the provision of appropriate smoking cessation care for AOD clients.