Is smoking cessation associated with worse comorbid substance use outcomes among homeless adults?
ABSTRACT: Smoking prevalence among homeless adults is exceedingly high, and high rates of comorbid substance use are among the barriers to abstinence experienced by this group. The extent to which smoking cessation might engender an escalation in comorbid substance use could be a concern prohibiting treatment provision and engagement. This study examined whether smoking abstinence status was associated with alcohol and substance use at 26 weeks post-randomization among homeless smokers in a smoking cessation trial.The current study was a secondary analysis of randomized smoking cessation intervention trial data.The parent study was conducted in the Minneapolis/St Paul area of Minnesota, USA.Participants were 427 homeless adult smokers interested in quitting smoking.Covariates collected at baseline included alcohol, cocaine, marijuana/hashish, heroin and 'any' drug use, age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, tobacco dependence, length of time homeless and treatment group. Biochemically verified smoking abstinence and self-reported alcohol and substance use were collected at 26 weeks post-randomization.Smoking abstinence was associated with fewer drinking days (P = 0.03), fewer drinks consumed on drinking days (P = 0.01), and lower odds of heavy drinking (P = 0.05), but not with differences in the number of days of cocaine, marijuana/hashish, heroin or any drug use.In homeless smokers, achieving smoking abstinence may be associated with a reduction in alcohol consumption but appears not to be associated with a substantial change in other drug use.
Project description:There is a strong association between cigarette smoking and alcohol use at the epidemiological, behavioral, and molecular levels, and this co-use creates substantial impediments to smoking cessation among smokers who are also heavy drinkers. Compared with individuals who only smoke, those who both drink and smoke heavily experience more severe health consequences and have greater difficulty in quitting smoking. During smoking abstinence, greater alcohol use is associated with decreased odds of smoking cessation, and smokers are substantially more likely to experience a smoking lapse during drinking episodes. As heavy drinking smokers are less responsive to the currently available pharmacological treatments, this subgroup of high-risk substance users possesses a unique clinical profile and treatment needs. Thus, treatment development for heavy drinking smokers represents a significant and understudied research area within the field of smoking cessation. This review will briefly describe findings from epidemiological, behavioral, and molecular studies illustrating alcohol and tobacco co-use and identify how the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms underlying the interaction of alcohol and nicotine may inform the development of targeted treatments for this unique population of smokers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite progress in reducing cigarette smoking in the general U.S. population, smoking rates, cancer morbidity and related heart disease remain strikingly high among the poor and underserved. Homeless individuals' cigarette smoking rate remains an alarming 70% or greater, and this population is generally untreated with smoking cessation interventions. Furthermore, the majority of homeless smokers also abuse alcohol and other drugs, which makes quitting more difficult and magnifies the health consequences of tobacco use. METHODS/DESIGN:Participants will be randomized to one of three groups, including (1) an integrated intensive smoking plus alcohol intervention using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), (2) intensive smoking intervention using CBT or (3) usual care (i.e., brief smoking cessation and brief alcohol counseling). All participants will receive 12-week treatment with a nicotine patch plus nicotine gum or lozenge. Counseling will include weekly individual sessions for 3 months, followed by monthly booster group sessions for 3 months. The primary smoking outcome is cotinine-verified 7-day smoking abstinence at follow-up week 52, and the primary alcohol outcome will be breathalyzer-verified 90-day alcohol abstinence at week 52. DISCUSSION:This study protocol describes the design of the first community-based controlled trial (n = 645) designed to examine the efficacy of integrating alcohol abuse treatment with smoking cessation among homeless smokers. To further address the gap in effectiveness of evidence-based smoking cessation interventions in the homeless population, we are conducting a renewed smoking cessation clinical trial called Power to Quit among smokers experiencing homelessness. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01932996. Date of registration: 20 November 2014.
Project description:Introduction:Three-quarters of homeless people smoke cigarettes. Financial incentives for smoking abstinence have appeared promising in nonexperimental studies of homeless smokers, but randomized controlled trial (RCT) data are lacking. Methods:We conducted a pilot RCT of financial incentives for homeless smokers. Incentive arm participants (N = 25) could earn escalating $15-$35 rewards for brief smoking abstinence (exhaled carbon monoxide <8 parts per million) assessed 14 times over 8 weeks. Control arm participants (N = 25) were given $10 at each assessment regardless of abstinence. All participants were offered nicotine patches and counseling. The primary outcome was a repeated measure of brief smoking abstinence across 14 assessments. The secondary outcome was brief abstinence at 8 weeks. Exploratory outcomes were self-reported 1-day and 7-day abstinence from (1) any cigarette and (2) any puff of a cigarette. Other outcomes included 24-hour quit attempts, nicotine patch use, counseling attendance, and changes in alcohol and drug use. Results:Compared to control, incentive arm participants were more likely to achieve brief abstinence overall (odds ratio 7.28, 95% confidence interval 2.89 to 18.3) and at 8 weeks (48% vs. 8%, p = .004). Similar effects were seen for 1-day abstinence, but 7-day puff abstinence was negligible in both arms. Incentive arm participants made more quit attempts (p = .03). Nicotine patch use and counseling attendance were not significantly different between the groups. Alcohol and drug use did not change significantly in either group. Conclusions:Among homeless smokers, financial incentives increased brief smoking abstinence and quit attempts without worsening substance use. This approach merits further development focused on promoting sustained abstinence. Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02565381). Implications:Smoking is common among homeless people, and conventional tobacco treatment strategies have yielded modest results in this population. This pilot RCT suggests that financial incentives may be a safe way to promote brief smoking abstinence and quit attempts in this vulnerable group of smokers. However, further development is necessary to translate this approach into real-world settings and to promote sustained periods of smoking abstinence.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Three-quarters of homeless people smoke cigarettes. Competing priorities for shelter, food, and other subsistence needs may be one explanation for low smoking cessation rates in this population. We analyzed data from two samples of homeless smokers to examine the associations between subsistence difficulties and 1) smoking cessation readiness, confidence, and barriers in a cross-sectional study, and 2) smoking abstinence during follow-up in a longitudinal study. METHODS:We conducted a survey of homeless smokers (N = 306) in 4/2014-7/2014 and a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) for homeless smokers (N = 75) in 10/2015-6/2016 at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. In both studies, subsistence difficulties were characterized as none, low, or high based on responses to a 5-item scale assessing the frequency of past-month difficulty finding shelter, food, clothing, a place to wash, and a place to go to the bathroom. Among survey participants, we used linear regression to assess the associations between subsistence difficulty level and readiness to quit, confidence to quit, and a composite measure of perceived barriers to quitting. Among RCT participants, we used repeated-measures logistic regression to examine the association between baseline subsistence difficulty level and carbon monoxide-defined brief smoking abstinence assessed 14 times over 8 weeks of follow-up. Analyses adjusted for demographic characteristics, substance use, mental illness, and nicotine dependence. RESULTS:Subsistence difficulties were common in both study samples. Among survey participants, greater subsistence difficulties were associated with more perceived barriers to quitting (p < 0.001) but not with cessation readiness or confidence. A dose-response relationship was observed for most barriers, particularly psychosocial barriers. Among RCT participants, greater baseline subsistence difficulties predicted less smoking abstinence during follow-up in a dose-response fashion. In adjusted analyses, individuals with the highest level of subsistence difficulty had one-third the odds of being abstinent during follow-up compared to those without subsistence difficulties (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.11-0.93) despite making a similar number of quit attempts. CONCLUSIONS:Homeless smokers with greater subsistence difficulties perceive more barriers to quitting and are less likely to do so despite similar readiness, confidence, and attempts. Future studies should assess whether addressing subsistence difficulties improves cessation outcomes in this population. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02565381 .
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alcohol and nicotine dependence frequently co-occur, and quitting smoking might enhance long-term alcohol abstinence. Topiramate appears to help non-alcohol-dependent individuals quit smoking, and our pilot work suggested efficacy only in men. It also prevents relapse to alcohol in recently detoxified alcoholics. We evaluated topiramate in abstinent alcohol-dependent men to assess whether this medication (i) promotes smoking cessation and (ii) prevents alcohol and other drug relapse in the context of smoking cessation treatment. METHODS:One hundred and twenty-nine alcohol-abstinent (mean ~6 months) alcohol-dependent male smokers (80% with other substance use disorders) participated in this 12-week randomized, double blind, parallel group comparison of topiramate (up to 200 mg/d) and placebo with a 24-week nontreatment follow-up period. The study was carried out sequentially at 2 academic centers in the Midwest and Southern California between March 23, 2009 and November 20, 2014. All participants received manual-guided smoking cessation counseling combined with medication-focused compliance enhancement therapy. Randomization was block designed by the research pharmacist in a 1:1 ratio. Participants, investigators, and research personnel were masked to treatment assignment. The primary smoking end point was biochemically confirmed 4-week continuous abstinence from smoking during weeks 9 to 12, while the secondary end point was relapse to any drinking or drug use during the entire 36-week evaluation period. Logistic regression was used to determine the effects of topiramate on quitting smoking and alcohol relapse, controlling for relevant covariates. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (number NCT00802412) and is now closed. RESULTS:Only a small proportion (7.9%) of topiramate-treated participants were able to quit smoking, and this cessation rate was similar to placebo (10.6%; odds ratio = 1.60; 95% confidence interval 0.4, 6.5; p = 0.51). Roughly 30% of the sample had a documented relapse to drinking or drug use during the study, and these rates were similar in the topiramate (20/63; 31.8%) and placebo groups (18/66; 27.3%; p = 0.58). Results of a longitudinal logistic regression model examining time to any alcohol relapse revealed no medication effect. CONCLUSIONS:Topiramate at a daily dosage of up to 200 mg per day, combined with smoking cessation and medication adherence counseling, had no effects on smoking cessation or the prevention of alcohol or drug relapse in male smokers who were in early or sustained full remission from alcohol and motivated to make a quit attempt. Alternative approaches for treating this high-risk, dually dependent population are needed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tobacco use is higher among homeless individuals than the general population. Homeless individuals are also more likely to have symptoms of depression. Depression symptoms may add to the burden of homelessness by increasing psychological distress and serve as a barrier to quitting smoking. OBJECTIVES:The primary goal of this study is to assess the impact of depression symptoms on psychological distress in homeless smokers. The effect of depression symptoms on abstinence and the effect of Motivational Interviewing (MI) on cessation among smokers is also explored. METHODS:Homeless smokers (N = 430) enrolled in a smoking cessation study were randomized to Motivational Interviewing (MI) or standard care (SC). Participants received nicotine replacement therapy and were followed for 26 weeks. Participants were categorized into a depression symptoms (DS) group or control group using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Between group differences of perceived stress, hopelessness, confidence, craving and abstinence were assessed at weeks 8 and 26. The interaction between depression symptoms (levels: DS and control) and the intervention (levels: MI and SC) was also assessed. RESULTS:Homeless smokers in the DS group reported higher levels of hopelessness, perceived stress, and craving. There was no effect of DS status on abstinence at week 8 or week 26. There was no significant interaction between depression symptoms (DS vs. Control) and the intervention (MI vs. SC). CONCLUSION:Despite reporting greater psychological distress, homeless smokers with depression symptoms in this sample had abstinence levels similar to the control group. Future research should explore protective factors among depressed smokers.
Project description:The primary aim was to compare the efficacy of smoking cessation treatment using a combination of active nicotine patch plus active nicotine gum versus therapy consisting of active nicotine patch plus placebo gum in a sample of alcohol-dependent tobacco smokers in an early phase of out-patient alcohol treatment. A secondary aim was to determine whether or not there were any carry-over effects of combination nicotine replacement on drinking outcomes.Small-scale randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial with 1-year smoking and drinking outcome assessment.Two out-patient substance abuse clinics provided a treatment platform of behavioral alcohol and smoking treatment delivered in 3 months of weekly sessions followed by three monthly booster sessions.Participants were 96 men and women with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence and smoking 15 or more cigarettes per day.All participants received open-label transdermal nicotine patches and were randomized to receive either 2 mg nicotine gum or placebo gum under double-blind conditions.Analysis of 1-year follow-up data revealed that patients receiving nicotine patch plus active gum had better smoking outcomes than those receiving patch plus placebo gum on measures of time to smoking relapse and prolonged abstinence at 12 months. Alcohol outcomes were not significantly different across medication conditions.Results of this study were consistent with results of larger trials of smokers without alcohol problems, showing that combination therapy (nicotine patch plus gum) is more effective than monotherapy (nicotine patch) for smoking cessation.
Project description:Individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) smoke at higher rates and have higher tobacco-related mortality than the general population. Despite having an interest in smoking cessation, smokers with SUDs may have greater difficulty quitting.Analysis of data from a RCT testing a post-discharge smoking cessation intervention for hospitalized cigarette smokers interested in quitting. Past 7day tobacco abstinence was self-reported at 1, 3, and 6 months and biochemically confirmed at 6 months post-discharge. Other drug use was assessed at baseline by self-report or a past-year discharge diagnosis of SUD. Multiple logistic regression compared tobacco cessation outcomes among participants with no recreational drug use (NDU; n=942) vs. marijuana only (MU; n=284) vs. other illicit drugs (IDU; n=131).Groups differed at baseline on age, gender, race, education, other household smokers, alcohol use, and anxiety/depression (all p<0.05). Confirmed 6-month tobacco abstinence was lower among IDU than NDU participants (9% vs 18%, p=0.01; AOR=0.43, CI: 0.22-0.84) after adjustment for study arm, smoking characteristics, demographics, quality of life, alcohol use and MU. Confirmed 6-month abstinence did not differ significantly between MU vs. NDU participants (14% vs 18%, p>0.05; AOR=0.77, CI:0.51-1.14). Counseling and medication use did not differ significantly among groups at any follow-up.Hospitalized smokers who planned to stop smoking after discharge and used cessation assistance were less successful if they had used illicit drugs in the past year, but not if they had only used marijuana. More intensive or tailored interventions may be required to address smoking in this population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tobacco use is prevalent among persons with alcohol abuse and dependence. Varenicline has been shown to be the most effective pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation and may decrease alcohol consumption. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of 12 weeks of varenicline for increasing smoking abstinence rates in smokers with alcohol abuse or dependence. METHODS:Participants were eligible for enrollment if they were 18 years or older, smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day for at least 6 months, had current alcohol abuse or dependence, and were interested in quitting smoking. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 12 weeks of varenicline 1?mg twice daily or matching placebo. The primary end point was 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence at week 12. RESULTS:The 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence rate at 12 weeks was significantly higher with varenicline (n?=?16) than placebo (n?=?17) (43.8% vs 5.9%; P?=?.01). At 24 weeks, the 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence rate was still significantly higher with varenicline than placebo (31.3% vs 0%; P?=?.02). At 12 weeks, mean (SD) drinks per drinking day was significantly lower with varenicline than placebo (5.7 [3.9] vs 9.0 [5.3] drinks; treatment effect estimate, -2.8 [90% CI, -6.6 to -1.0]). Adverse events were minor and comparable to varenicline clinical trials. CONCLUSIONS:Varenicline is safe and efficacious for increasing smoking abstinence rates in smokers with alcohol abuse or dependence. Varenicline may decrease alcohol consumption in this population of smokers.
Project description:PURPOSE:To examine attitudes toward tobacco control policies among older African American homeless-experienced smokers. APPROACH:A qualitative study. SETTING:Oakland, California. PARTICIPANTS:Twenty-two African American older homeless-experienced smokers who were part of a longitudinal study on health and health-related outcomes (Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age Study). METHOD:We conducted in-depth, semistructured interviews with each participant to explore beliefs and attitudes toward tobacco use and cessation, barriers to smoking cessation, and attitudes toward current tobacco control strategies including raising cigarette prices, smoke-free policies, and graphic warning labels. We used a grounded theory approach to analyze the transcripts. RESULTS:Community social norms supportive of cigarette smoking and co-use of tobacco with other illicit substances were strong motivators of initiation and maintenance of tobacco use. Self-reported barriers to cessation included nicotine dependence, the experience of being homeless, fatalistic attitudes toward smoking cessation, substance use, and exposure to tobacco industry marketing. While participants were cognizant of current tobacco control policies and interventions for cessation, they felt that they were not specific enough for African Americans experiencing homelessness. Participants expressed strong support for strategies that de-normalized tobacco use and advertised the harmful effects of tobacco. CONCLUSION:Older African American homeless-experienced smokers face significant barriers to smoking cessation. Interventions that advertise the harmful effects of tobacco may be effective in stimulating smoking cessation among this population.