Smoking cessation interventions for adolescents in substance abuse treatment have shown promise. However, a better understanding of the correlates of substance use disordered (SUD) youths' intentions toward smoking cessation will help tailor cessation interventions to this population. The current study examined tobacco use, smoking-related self-efficacy, substance use and intentions to quit using alcohol and illicit drugs as correlates of intentions to quit smoking among youth in SUD treatment.
Participants were 178 adolescents who were in inpatient (n=90) or outpatient (n= 88) SUD treatment and had smoked at least once in the past 30 days. The sample was 44% female, 72% non-Hispanic Caucasian, with a mean age of 16.2 years (SD=1.2). Participants rated the likelihood that they would be nonsmokers in the next year (9-point scale).
SUD youth intention to quit smoking averaged 4.9 out of 10 (SD=3.2), comparable to intention to quit drinking (M=5.3, SD=3.6), but lower than their intention to quit using drugs (M=6.0, SD=3.4). Teens' intentions to quit smoking were associated with nicotine dependence (r=−.30, p<.01) and smoking-cessation related self-efficacy (r=.36, p<.01), but not with pretreatment substance use severity (r=−.15). Controlling for nicotine dependence, teens' intentions to quit smoking were positively related to smoking cessation self-efficacy (pr=.26, p<.01) and intention to quit using illicit drugs (pr=.15, p<.05), but unrelated to intention to quit drinking.
Findings highlight the appropriateness of addressing adolescent tobacco use during SUD treatment, but emphasize the importance of assessing intention and other cognitions for each substance, as they may differ markedly.
Keywords: Youth tobacco use, Substance use, Comorbidity