Smoking cessation intervention for female prisoners: addressing an urgent public health need

Am J Public Health. 2008 Oct;98(10):1894-901. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.128207. Epub 2008 Aug 13.


Objectives: We tested the efficacy of a combined pharmacologic and behavioral smoking cessation intervention among women in a state prison in the southern United States.

Methods: The study design was a randomized controlled trial with a 6-month waitlist control group. The intervention was a 10-week group intervention combined with nicotine replacement therapy. Two hundred and fifty participants received the intervention, and 289 were in the control group. Assessments occurred at baseline; end of treatment; 3, 6, and 12 months after treatment; and at weekly sessions for participants in the intervention group.

Results: The intervention was efficacious compared with the waitlist control group. Point prevalence quit rates for the intervention group were 18% at end of treatment, 17% at 3-month follow-up, 14% at 6-month follow-up, and 12% at 12-month follow-up, quit rates that are consistent with outcomes from community smoking-cessation interventions.

Conclusions: Female prisoners are interested in smoking cessation interventions and achieved point-prevalence quit rates similar to community samples. Augmenting tobacco control policies in prison with smoking cessation interventions has the potential to address a significant public health need.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Patient Dropouts / education
  • Patient Dropouts / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Prisoners* / education
  • Prisoners* / psychology
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychotherapy, Group / organization & administration
  • Public Health / methods
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Care
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Southeastern United States
  • Waiting Lists
  • Women* / education
  • Women* / psychology


  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Nicotine