PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a tobacco cessation intervention using motivational interviewing on smoking cessation rates during diabetes self-management training (DSMT). METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted with subjects recruited from an ongoing type 2 diabetes adult education program at a large diabetes center. A total of 114 subjects were randomized to intervention (n = 57; face-to-face motivational interviewing plus telephone counseling and offering of medication) or standard care (n = 57). Outcome measures included tobacco cessation rates, mean number of cigarettes smoked, A1C, weight, blood pressure, and lipids. RESULTS: Intensive intervention using motivational interviewing integrated into a standard DSMT program resulted in a trend toward greater abstinence at 3 months of follow-up in those receiving the intervention. However, this same trend was not observed at 6 months. The addition of this structured smoking cessation intervention did not negatively affect either diabetes education or other measures of diabetes management, including A1C values. CONCLUSIONS: Structured tobacco cessation efforts can be readily integrated into established diabetes education programs without a negative impact on diabetes care or delivery of diabetes education. However, an intervention of moderate intensity for smoking cessation was no more effective than usual care in assisting patients with tobacco cessation after 6-month follow-up. Whether a more intensive intervention, targeting patients expressing a readiness to discontinue tobacco use, and/or a longer duration or a more cumulative effect of treatment will be more effective must be evaluated.