Smoking cessation interventions among individuals in methadone maintenance: a brief review

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Mar;38(2):191-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2009.10.001. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


Background: Individuals in methadone maintenance treatment are motivated to quit smoking and are interested in smoking cessation treatment. However, few studies have assessed the efficacy of smoking cessation treatment for individuals undergoing methadone maintenance. The purpose of this article is to review interventions for tobacco use cessation among individuals in methadone maintenance with a particular emphasis on the components of such interventions and their effect on smoking cessation/reduction and drug use.

Methods: A comprehensive search of six databases in June 2008 retrieved 584 research studies, which addressed smoking cessation interventions among individuals in substance use treatment. Of the retrieved articles, eight studies addressed smoking cessation among individuals undergoing methadone maintenance treatment. These studies were examined for effect of intervention on smoking cessation/reduction, gender differences in treatment outcomes, and the effect of the smoking cessation intervention on substance use behaviors.

Results: Few studies demonstrated successful smoking abstinence among individuals in methadone maintenance treatment. Most interventions were associated with significant smoking reduction from baseline. Few studies assessed differences between men and women in smoking cessation treatment outcome. Smoking cessation treatment was not associated with increased substance use.

Conclusions: To date, interventions among individuals in methadone treatment have been largely unsuccessful in achieving sustained smoking abstinence. However, smoking cessation treatment does not worsen substance use. Future studies are necessary to determine intervention designs and components that can enhance smoking cessation among individuals in methadone maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Social Support
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*


  • Narcotics
  • Methadone