Smoking cessation in homeless populations: A pilot clinical trial

Kola Okuyemi, Janet L Thomas, Sandra Hall, Nicole L. Nollen, Kimber P. Richter, Shawn K. Jeffries, Amelia R. Caldwell, Ahluwalia S. Jasjit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This work was performed while Drs. Okuyemi and Ahluwalia were affiliated with the University of Kansas Medical Center.This study, which tested two motivational interviewing treatment approaches, assessed the feasibility of conducting a community-based smoking cessation intervention among homeless smokers. Participants (N=46) were recruited from multiple facilities in the Kansas City area and were randomized to two counseling conditions in which they received five individual motivational interviewing sessions, six group meetings, and their choice of 8 weeks of 21-mg nicotine patch or 4-mg nicotine lozenge. The two counseling conditions consisted of motivational interviewing targeted either to smoking behaviors exclusively (smoking only) or to smoking and other addictions or life events that could affect ability to quit (smoking plus). Group meetings were designed to provide educational information and social support. Measures of feasibility assessed included the proportion of participants who returned for randomization among those eligible, adherence to prescribed nicotine replacement therapies, retention rates at the week 26 final study visit, and biochemically verified 7-day abstinence at week 26. Most participants (69.6%) chose nicotine patches, and 32% of those participants reported using at least four patches per week. Carbon monoxide verified 7-day abstinence rates in the smoking-only and smoking-plus groups were 13.04% and 17.39% (ns), respectively, at week 8 and 8.70% and 17.39% (ns), respectively, at week 26. Participants who used at least four patches per week were more likely to have quit at 8 weeks than were those who used fewer patches (33.3% vs. 10.5%, p=.30). Results support the feasibility of conducting a smoking cessation intervention among homeless smokers. Findings also show promising effects for nicotine replacement therapy and counseling in this population. Developing programs to improve smoking cessation outcomes in underserved populations is an essential step toward achieving national health objectives and for ultimately reducing tobacco-related health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-699
Number of pages11
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


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