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Study Suggests Interventions Are Needed To Sustain Tobacco Abstinence After Release From Prison

JAMA Internal Medicine
Study Highlights

A study by , M.D., M.P.H., of , Pawtucket, and colleagues suggests that behavioral provided prior to release from prison improves tobacco abstinence in the community. (Online First)

A total of 262 inmates (35 percent female) were recruited approximately 8 weeks prior to their release from a smoke-free prison and were randomized to 6 weekly sessions of either education videos (control) or the WISE intervention (Working Inside for Smoking Elimination). Continued smoking abstinence was defined as 7-day point-prevalence abstinence validated by urine cotinine measurement.

At the 3-week follow-up after release from prison, 25 percent of participants in the WISE intervention (31 of 122) and 7 percent of the (9 of 125) continued to be tobacco free. Hispanic ethnicity, a plan to remain abstinent, and being in prison for more than 6 months were all associated with increased likelihood of remaining abstinent. Nonsmokers at the 3-week follow-up had an additional follow-up 3 months after release, and overall 12 percent of the participants in the WISE intervention (14 of 122) and 2 percent of the (3 of 125) were tobacco free at 3 months.

“In summary, our study shows that an intervention based on MI [motivational interviewing] and CBT [cognitive behavioral therapy] can improve continued smoking abstinence after prison release…,” the study concludes.


JAMA Internal Med. Published online April 8, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.197.