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Psychol Addict Behav. 2015 Sep;29(3):643-52. doi: 10.1037/adb0000051. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Behavioral couples therapy for smoking cessation: A pilot randomized clinical trial.

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  • 1National Jewish Health.
  • 2Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, School of Public Health, Brown University.
  • 3Center for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University.
  • 4Families and Addiction Program, VA Boston Healthcare System.


Behavioral couples therapy (BCT) has been found to improve long-term abstinence rates in alcohol- and substance-dependent populations but has not been tested for smoking cessation. This pilot study examined the feasibility and acceptability of BCT for smoking-discordant couples. Forty-nine smokers (smoking >10 cigarettes/day) with nonsmoking partners were randomized to receive a couples social support (BCT-S) intervention or an individually delivered, standard smoking cessation treatment (ST). The couples were married or had been cohabiting for at least 1 year, with partners who had never smoked or had not used tobacco in 1 year. Both treatments included 7 weekly sessions and 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy. Participants were followed for 6 months posttreatment. The Partner Interaction Questionnaire was used to measure perceived smoking-specific partner support. Participants were 67% male and 88% White. Biochemically verified cessation rates were 40.9%, 50%, and 45% in BCT-S and 59.1%, 50%, and 55% in ST at end of treatment, after 3 month, and after 6 months, respectively, and did not differ significantly between treatment conditions at any time point. Perceived smoking-specific partner support at posttreatment did not significantly differ between treatment groups. Results of this pilot study do not provide support for the efficacy of BCT in smoking-discordant couples.

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