Evaluating the short-term impact of a tobacco-free policy in an inpatient addiction treatment setting
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PURPOSE: Tobacco use is highly prevalent within addiction treatment settings, despite the potential benefits that cessation may provide to patients' psychosocial functioning and overall sobriety. Moreover, tobacco cessation is often insufficiently addressed in addiction treatment programs, although evidence suggests that tobacco control policies, such as access to evidence-based treatment or tobacco-free policies, may be effective. The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of the implementation of these two tobacco control policies in an inpatient addiction treatment centre. METHODS: Using a 3-group quasi-experimental design, we examined how the implementation of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC) and a subsequent campus-wide tobacco ban influenced patients' overall smoking status, frequency, amount used per day, and quit attempts during treatment, compared to usual care. Participants (N = 397) responded to a comprehensive questionnaire upon admission and discharge from an addiction treatment program. We used generalized linear mixed modelling to measure changes over time while accounting for relevant sociodemographic covariates. RESULTS: Patients exposed to a more comprehensive tobacco control environment (i.e., the OMSC, plus complete tobacco ban) were over 80% less likely to report having used tobacco during treatment, compared to patients exposed to usual care (AOR = 0.17, 95% CI [0.05-0.63]). Receiving treatment in this setting also contributed to a 35% decrease in the average number of days patients used tobacco compared to usual care (AOR = 0.65, 95% CI [0.53-0.98]), and a 27% decrease in the average number of cigarettes used per day compared to usual care (AOR = 0.73, 95% CI [0.58-0.93]). CONCLUSION: Comprehensive tobacco control policy interventions within inpatient addiction treatment hospitals promote tobacco cessation. Such interventions should include a combination of evidence-based treatment for patients and environmental restrictions to discourage tobacco use. The results of our study suggest that, within inpatient addiction treatment settings, use of the OMSC in combination with a campus-wide tobacco ban may be more effective than usual care or the OMSC alone.
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