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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Barriers to Telephone Quitline Use Among Methadone-Maintained Smokers.

Monday, August 24, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Judith L. Griffin, Kate S. Segal, Shadi Nahvi.
Barriers to Telephone Quitline Use Among Methadone-Maintained Smokers.
Nicotine Tob Res (2015) 17 (8):931-936.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu267
Drug users have high rates of tobacco use and tobacco-related disease. Telephone quitlines promote smoking cessation, but their reach among drug users is unknown. We thus aimed to assess utilization of and barriers to telephone quitlines among methadone-maintained smokers. Subjects were opioid-dependent smokers in Bronx, New York, methadone treatment programs who were enrolled in a clinical trial of varenicline. All subjects were offered referral to a free, proactive quitline. We examined quitline records, surveyed barriers to quitline use, and queried reasons for declining referral.
Of the 112 subjects enrolled, 47% were male, 54% were Hispanic, and 28% were Black. All subjects were offered referral, and 25 (22% of study participants) utilized the quitline. Quitline utilizers (vs. nonutilizers) were significantly more likely to have landline phone service (72 vs. 42%, p= .01), interest in quitline participation (92 vs. 62%, p < .01), and willingness to receive calls (96 vs. 76%, p = .02). Nonutilizers were significantly more likely to report cell phone service lapse (38 vs. 14%, p = .04), and difficulty charging cell phones (19 vs. 0%, p = .02). Reasons for quitline refusal included: (a) skepticism of quitline efficacy; (b) aversion to telephone communication; (c) competing life demands (e.g., drug treatment, shelter); and (d) problems with cell phone service or minutes. Despite several limitations to quitline access among methadone-maintained smokers, routine quitline referral was associated with 22% utilization. To expand provision of smoking cessation treatment to opioid-dependent smokers, interventions to promote routine quitline referral in substance abuse treatment programs warrant investigation.

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