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Overview of state policies requiring smoking cessation therapy in psychiatric hospitals and drug abuse treatment centers

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BACKGROUND:Research demonstrates that individuals in substance abuse treatment are more likely to die from tobacco addiction than from their primary addiction, yet historically substance abuse treatment has not included treatment for tobacco addiction. The purpose of our study was to (1) review the diffusion of state policies mandating the provision of tobacco cessation treatment as a condition of state licensure in substance abuse treatment facilities and psychiatric treatment centers and (2) describe the current landscape of policies relating to tobacco cessation in state-licensed substance abuse treatment facilities and psychiatric treatment centers. FINDINGS:We conducted a nationwide assessment of all 50 states from May 2013 - October 2014 to determine the progress each has made with developing a statewide tobacco cessation policy. We reviewed state government websites, conducted phone interviews with state regulatory agencies, and emailed state employees. Overall, 13 of 50 states (26 %) require tobacco cessation provision in alcohol, drug rehabilitation, and or mental health treatment centers, 6 states (12 %) are currently working towards a state policy, and 31 states (62 %) do not require tobacco cessation nor are working towards a state policy, though many of them have smoke free policies in both substance abuse centers and mental health wards. CONCLUSIONS:Our updated review of statewide smoking cessation policies in alcoholic, drug abuse, and mental health populations reveals that while clinical findings that affect population health may be well-publicized in the research community, these findings are not necessarily translated into policy. Further research on policy diffusion is needed.

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