The relation between smoking status and medical conditions among incarcerated adults

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The rate of smoking among incarcerated adults is more than 3 times that of the general population. Negative health consequences of smoking have prompted many correctional facilities to become tobacco-free. This presents a unique opportunity to examine health conditions associated with motivation to remain tobacco-free after release from prison. We examined this association among individuals who participated in the WISE randomized clinical trial. Methods: A total of 247 participants completed a baseline questionnaire asking about illnesses (both smoking-related and non-smokingrelated), family history of smoking-related illnesses, demographics, and smoking history. Smoking status was assessed 3 weeks postrelease. Results: Approximately 38% of participants reported having an illness caused by or worsened by smoking and 53.0% reported having "moderate" to "a lot" of concern about their health due to smoking; 22.9% reported having asthma and 26.8% reported hypertension. The adjusted odds of remaining tobacco-free at 3 weeks postrelease from a tobacco-free prison was significant only for individuals with a family history of smoking-related illnesses (odds ratio [OR] = 0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.68). For individuals with smoking-related conditions, the adjusted odds of remaining tobaccofree was nonsignificant (OR = 1.91; 95% CI, 0.85-4.27). Similarly, the adjusted odds of remaining tobacco-free for participants with non-smoking-related medical conditions was nonsignificant (OR = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.06-1.22). Conclusions: These results offer a first look at understanding health conditions as a motivator to remain tobacco-free after release from prison. Although these findings require additional investigation, these results suggest that providing treatment to prisoners with chronic disease and specifically targeting smoking-related illnesses might be beneficial with regard to smoking cessation success. © 2014 American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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Journal of Addiction Medicine