Perceived barriers to smoking cessation among adults with substance use disorders
The majority of adults seeking substance use disorder treatment also smoke. Smoking is associated with greater substance use disorder severity, poorer treatment outcome, and increased mortality among those with substance use disorders. Yet, engaging this population in smoking cessation treatment is a significant challenge. The aim of this study was to examine perceived barriers to smoking cessation among treatment-seeking adults with alcohol or opioid use disorder. Additionally, we examined whether anxiety sensitivity - a known risk factor for barriers to smoking cessation in the general population - was associated with more barriers to smoking cessation in this sample. A sample of 208 adults was recruited for a one-time study and completed self-report measures of anxiety sensitivity and perceived barriers to smoking cessation. Results indicated that the most common barriers were anxiety (82% of the sample), tension/irritability (76%), and concerns about the ability to maintain sobriety from their primary substance of abuse (64%). Those who reported more barriers also reported lower confidence in the ability to change their smoking behavior. Higher anxiety sensitivity was associated with more perceived barriers to smoking cessation, even when controlling for cigarette dependence severity. These results suggest that there are several perceived barriers to smoking cessation among treatment-seeking adults with substance use disorders. In addition to psychoeducational interventions aimed to modify negative beliefs about smoking cessation, anxiety sensitivity may be a promising therapeutic target in this population.
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