Primary Care Providers Advising Smokers to Quit

Comparing Effectiveness Between Those with and Without Alcohol, Drug, or Mental Disorders

A study to determine the effectiveness of primary care provider (PCP) smoking cessation counseling for people with alcohol, drug or mental (ADM) disorders found that PCPs can help smokers with ADM disorders successfully quit smoking.

The authors conducted probit regressions among adults who reported smoking in the 1998-1999 Community Tracking Study survey and who reported visiting a PCP in the followup 2000-2001 Healthcare for Communities Survey. They created an “all smokers” cohort, with “ADM smokers” and “non-ADM smokers” subcohorts, and looked at self-reports of past year PCP counseling and smoking behavior.

The ADM smokers smoked significantly more at the time of the Community Tracking Study survey than the non-ADM smokers. Both subcohorts were equally likely to receive PCP smoking cessation counseling, and counseling was associated with successful cessation for both groups, but ADM smokers were less likely to successfully quit.

Smokers with ADM disorders should be targeted for smoking cessation counseling. However, the generalizability of these findings may be limited, because the sample only included those who saw a general medical provider in the year before the Healthcare for Communities Survey. The authors recommend further research among smokers with ADM disorders who do not often use primary care and those who are in institutions or who are homeless.