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J Correct Health Care. 2009 Jul;15(3):190-6. doi: 10.1177/1078345809333388. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Resumption of smoking after release from a tobacco-free correctional facility.

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Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA.


Approximately 70% of incarcerated people smoke tobacco, and an estimated 12% of all smokers in the United States leave correctional facilities annually. Many facilities prohibit smoking, but no published study has measured the relapse to tobacco after release. In a study of 200 people with chronic health conditions reentering the community from jail, 165 (83%) were cigarette smokers. Of these, 129 were interviewed at 1 and/or 6 months after release. Self-reported sustained abstinence rates were 37.3% at the end of the first day, 17.7% for the first week, 13.7% for 1 month, and 3.1% for 6 months. These abstinence rates are lower than those reported after military basic training and medical hospitalization but similar to rates after inpatient psychiatric and addiction programs. More efforts and resources are needed to determine successful tobacco cessation interventions during incarceration and after release.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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