Counseling Helps Smokers With Comorbid Disorders Quit

Counseling by primary care providers beneficial for those with alcohol, drug, mental disorders

TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Counseling by primary care providers (PCPs) is effective for encouraging smoking cessation for individuals with and without alcohol, drug, or mental (ADM) disorders, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Michael K. Ong, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed the effectiveness of smoking cessation counseling by PCPs for smokers with ADM disorders. Probit regressions (2009-2010) were used to investigate the association between past-year PCP counseling and successful quitting in 1,356 smokers from the 1998-1999 Community Tracking Study survey who saw PCPs in the past year in the follow-up 2000-2001 Healthcare for Communities Survey. To account for potential hidden bias between smoking status and receipt of counseling, past-year PCP exercise counseling was an instrumental variable for past-year PCP counseling.

The investigators found that smokers with and without ADM disorders were equally likely to receive smoking cessation counseling, which was significantly associated with quitting in both groups. Smokers with and without ADM disorders, had, respectively, 6 percent and 10.5 percent predicted probability of quitting without counseling. Smokers with and without ADM disorders, had, respectively, 31.3 percent and 34.9 percent predicted probability of quitting with counseling.

"This study shows that PCPs can help smokers with ADM disorders successfully quit," the authors write.

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