Substance use and smoking co-occur at high rates and substance abusers smoke more and have greater difficulty quitting smoking compared to the general population. Methods of increasing smoking cessation among alcoholics are needed to improve their health. This study investigated predictors of motivation to quit smoking among patients early in residential treatment for substance abuse. The 198 alcohol dependent patients were participating is a larger smoking study at an inner-city residential substance abuse treatment program. Motivation was measured by the Contemplation Ladder. A hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to assess whether perceived barriers to smoking cessation and self-efficacy about quitting were associated with motivation to quit smoking independent of the influence of degree of tobacco involvement, substance use, and comorbid depressive symptoms. Motivation was higher with longer previous smoking abstinence, fewer barriers to quitting, and greater self-efficacy but was not influenced by smoking rate, dependence, or gender. While the combination of alcohol and drug use, alcohol and drug problem severity, and depressive symptoms predicted motivation, no one of these variables was significant. Since barriers to change and self-efficacy are potentially modifiable in treatment, these could be salient targets for intervention efforts. This could be integrated into treatment by assessing barriers and providing corrective information about consequences and methods of overcoming barriers and by providing coping skills to increase confidence in one's ability to quit smoking. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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