Evaluating the Associations Between Exposure to Tobacco Interventions During Inpatient Treatment and Substance Use Outcomes: Findings From a Natural Experiment Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objective: In this study, we took advantage of a natural experiment that occurred within a substance use disorders (SUD) treatment setting which first saw the implementation of an evidence-based practice (EBP) for tobacco cessation, followed by the implementation of a tobacco-free policy (TFP) that included a campus-wide tobacco ban. We sought to examine how implementation of the EBP and TFP was associated with substances use outcomes, in addition to tobacco use, up to 3-months posttreatment. Methods: Data were collected from patients in a substance use disorders treatment program at baseline, discharge, 1-, and 3-months posttreatment. Using a quasi-experimental design and generalized estimating equations, we modelled how patients’ (N = 480) exposure to one of 3 interventions (1: treatment as usual [TAU], 2: EBP, and 3: EBP + TFP) was associated with overall abstinence from tobacco, alcohol, and other substances over time. Measures of tobacco use frequency, amount, and quit attempts were also modelled among a sub-sample of participants who self-reported using tobacco before treatment. Result: Exposure to the EBP + TFP was associated with increased tobacco abstinence (odds ratio [OR] = 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.29, 2.90]) over time, including decreases in tobacco use frequency (OR = 0.78, 95% CI [0.68, 0.89]) and amount (OR = 0.80, 95% CI [0.67, 0.96]), and increased in likelihood of making a quit attempt (OR = 1.75, 95% CI [1.10, 2.80]) compared to TAU. Exposure was not associated with alcohol and/or other substance use. Conclusions: Comprehensive tobacco interventions that include EBP + TFP can promote tobacco cessation and reduced tobacco use following inpatient SUD treatment, without adversely affecting the use of other substances.


  • Romano, Isabella
  • Costello, Mary Jean
  • Sousa, Sarah
  • Li, Yao
  • Bruce, Dominique
  • Roth, Don
  • MacKillop, James
  • Rush, Brian

publication date

  • May 2021