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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2007 Dec;39(4):423-33.

Staff smoking and other barriers to nicotine dependence intervention in addiction treatment settings: a review.

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  • 1Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco 94118, USA.


The aims of this review were to assess smoking prevalence among drug abuse treatment staff and summarize the range of barriers to provision of nicotine dependence intervention to clients receiving addictions treatment. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify publications reporting on workforce smoking prevalence, attitudes toward smoking, and perceived barriers to providing smoking cessation treatment in drug abuse treatment settings. Twenty papers met study inclusion criteria. Staff smoking prevalence estimates in the literature ranged from 14% to 40%. The most frequently reported barriers to providing nicotine dependence intervention in addiction treatment settings were lack of staff knowledge or training in this area, that smoking cessation concurrent with other drug or alcohol treatment may create a risk to sobriety, and staff are themselves smokers. Staff smoking is not uniformly elevated in the drug abuse treatment workforce. Smoking prevalence may be lower where staff are more educated or professionally trained, and may be higher in community-based drug treatment programs. Barriers to treating nicotine dependence may be addressed through staff training, policy development, and by supporting staff to quit smoking. State departments of alcohol and drug programs, and national and professional organizations, can also support treatment of nicotine dependence in drug abuse treatment settings.

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