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Cigarette smoking and quit attempts among Latinos in substance use disorder treatment



Differences in tobacco use behaviors have been identified between Latinos and non-Latino whites in the general US population. Little is known about cigarette smoking and quitting behaviors of Latinos in treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs), who represent two major tobacco-vulnerable groups.


To compare, in a national sample of persons enrolled in SUD treatment, demographic, drug use, and smoking and quitting prevalence and behaviors between Latinos and non-Latino whites.


We surveyed 777 SUD treatment clients, sampled from 24 clinics selected at random from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (Latino client n = 141; 40% female). We then conducted univariate and multivariate analyses to identify correlates of smoking behaviors by Latino/non-Latino white ethnicity.


Latinos' smoking prevalence resembled that of non-Latino whites (78.7% vs. 77.4%). In regression analyses, Latino smokers (n = 111) tended to smoke fewer cigarettes per day (CPD) than non-Latino white smokers (n = 492); were more often nondaily smokers and menthol smokers; more often reported a smoking quit attempt in the last year; and tended to report higher numbers of past-year quit attempts. Among Latino smokers, those with less education and those reporting opioids as their primary drug of use reported higher CPD.


Latinos in SUD treatment are at equally high risk of being current heavy smokers as compared to non-Latino whites in SUD treatment. At the same time, Latinos in SUD treatment exhibit ethnic-specific smoking and quitting behaviors that should be considered when designing smoking interventions for this group.

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