A pilot randomized clinical trial of brief interventions to encourage quit attempts in smokers from socioeconomic disadvantage

Marc L. Steinberg, Rachel L. Rosen, Mark V. Versella, Allison Borges, Teresa M. Leyro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cigarette smoking disproportionately affects communities of low socioeconomic status where greater smoking prevalence and poorer cessation rates have been observed. Utilizing brief evidence-based interventions to increase cessation attempts may be an effective and easily disseminable means by which to mitigate undue burden in this population. Aims and Methods: The current intervention randomized daily smokers (N = 57) recruited from a local community soup kitchen to receive either Brief (eg, 30 m) Motivational Interviewing, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) sampling, or a Referral-Only intervention. Approximately half of participants (50.9%) reported not completing high school and many reported either just (41.4%) or not (40.4%) meeting basic expenses. Follow-up was completed approximately 1-month postintervention. Results: Nonsignificant group differences indicated that participants randomized to the NRT sampling condition were more likely to make a quit attempt (moderate effect size). Approximately 40% of the sample reported making a serious quit attempt at follow-up. Significant differences in cigarettes per day at follow-up, controlling for baseline, were observed, with participants in the Motivational Interviewing condition, only, reporting significant reductions. Participants randomized to the NRT condition were significantly more likely to report using NRT patch and lozenge at follow-up (large effect). There were no differences between groups with respect to seeking behavioral support. Finally, we found that subjective financial strain moderated the effect of condition on change in cigarette consumption where NRT sampling was more effective for participants reporting less financial strain. Conclusions: Findings provide initial evidence for personalizing brief interventions to promote quit attempts in low-income smokers. Implications: While most clinical research on tobacco use and dependence focuses on successful sustained abstinence, the current study is novel because it examined three brief interventions designed to increase the number of quit attempts made by a nontreatment-seeking group suffering from health disparities (ie, smokers from socioeconomic disadvantage). These data suggest that nontreatment-seeking smokers from socioeconomic disadvantage can be influenced by Brief MIs and these interventions should be used to motivate smokers from socioeconomic disadvantage to make a quit attempt. Future studies should examine combined MIs including pharmacological and behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1508
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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