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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Oct;33(3):279-85. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Do total smoking bans affect the recruitment and retention of adolescents in inpatient substance abuse treatment programs? A 5-year medical chart review, 2001-2005.

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Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Adolescents engaged in substance abuse treatment manifest a rate of cigarette smoking approximately four times higher than that of youth in the general population ( approximately 80% vs. 20%) and a high rate of smoking persistence into adulthood. Although there has been a shift toward the implementation of no-smoking policies in substance abuse treatment programs, few studies have examined the relation between cigarette-smoking bans and key clinical outcomes. The current study examined the medical charts of all adolescents (N = 520) admitted to the only adolescent hospital-based substance abuse treatment program in the northern two thirds of the province of British Columbia, Canada. During the span of the study period (March 2001-December 2005), the treatment site moved from a partial smoking ban to a total smoking ban, and then retreated to partial smoking ban. The total smoking ban was not associated with a lower proportion of adolescent smokers seeking treatment at the facility or a lower treatment completion rate among smokers. Total smoking bans do not appear to be an obstacle for adolescent smokers seeking residential substance abuse treatment, nor do total smoking bans appear to compromise the treatment completion rates of smokers in comparison to nonsmokers. Despite these null findings, the effective implementation of smoke-free policies in adolescent substance abuse treatment programs requires not only large-scale organizational change but also the transformation of current commonly held beliefs about tobacco dependence in addictions treatment and recovery communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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