© Oxford University Press on behalf of the New York Academy of Medicine 2005
Potential uptake and correlates of willingness to use a supervised smoking facility for noninjection illicit drug use
1Division of Epidemiology and Population Health, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, University of British Columbia, St. Paul’s Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, V6Z 1Y6 Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
4Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
2Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 417 Saint-Pierre Street, Suite 408, H2Y 2M4 Montréal, Québec
3Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
Many cities are experiencing infectious disease epidemics and substantial community harms as a result of illicit drug use. Although medically supervised smoking facilities (SSFs) remain untested in North America, local health officials in Vancouver are considering to prepare a submission to Health Canada for an exemption to open Canada’s first SSF for evaluation. Reluctance of health policymakers to initiate a pilot study of SSFs may be due in part to outstanding questions regarding the potential uptake and community impacts of the intervention. This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of willingness to use an SSF among illicit drug smokers who are enrolled in the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study. Participants who reported actively smoking cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine who returned for follow-up between June 2002 and December 2002 were eligible for these analyses. Those who reported willingness to use an SSF were compared with those who were unwilling to use an SSF by using logistic regression analyses. Four hundred and forty-three participants were eligible for this study. Among respondents, 124 (27,99%) expressed willingness to attend an SSF. Variables that were independently associated with willingness to attend an SSF in multivariate analyses included sex-trade work (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.85), crack pipe sharing (AOR=2.24), and residing in the city’s HIV epicentre (AOR=1.64). We found that participants who demonstrated a willingness to attend an SSF were more likely to be involved in the sex trade and share crack pipes. Although the impact of SSFs in North America can only be quantified by scientific evaluation, these data indicate a potential for public health and community benefits if SSFs were to become available.
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