Creating a Tobacco Cessation Program for People with Disabilities: A Community Based Participatory Research Approach

J Addict Res Ther. 2014;5(4):1000204. doi: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000204. Epub 2014 Dec 21.


Introduction: Smoking is the single most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality, accountable for one out of every five fatalities in the United States annually. Fifty million Americans (22%) suffer from some form of disability, with evidence suggesting that smoking rates within the disabled community are double that of the general population.

Methods: The purpose of this study was to develop a tobacco cessation program designed by and for people with disabilities (PWD). Limited research data regarding tobacco interventions suggest that both adapting treatment methods and developing novel approaches may be effective in establishing cessation programs for low-income populations. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) was conducted to develop a tobacco cessation group treatment program for PWD. Consumers with disabilities who use tobacco were recruited from a large population of PWD utilizing services at multiple centers for independent living (CIL) within North Central Florida.

Results: Following qualitative interviews, multiple Community Advisory Board (CAB) meetings, and expert panel review, the tobacco cessation program was modified across several areas including: updating epidemiological data, decreasing text density, adding personal vignettes from PWD, adjusting for person-first language, adding disability-specific issues, and incorporating appropriate counseling strategies.

Conclusions: Study findings suggest that CBPR-based methods are useful when developing tobacco cessation programs for persons with disability. Forty-two changes were recommended for the resulting LIFT Curriculum. Next steps include pilot testing the curriculum among individuals with disability and comparing results to a standard tobacco cessation curriculum.