Involuntary smoking cessation: A treatment option in chemical dependency programs for women and children

Mary Ker, Scott Leischow, Ilana Boss Markowitz, Elizabeth Merikle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent research has indicated that a relationship exists between nicotine addiction and the abuse of other substances. This relationship, as well as the severe impact of nicotine addiction on the health of women, their children, and the developing fetus, provides the basis of a rationale for developing chemical dependency programs for women where smoking is not allowed. Involuntary smoking cessation (ISC) programs have been tried recently in mixed-gender and male-only programs, and have met with strong resistance from clients. In most published reports this resistance was strong enough to force the programs to eliminate the ISC policy. This article describes the development of an ISC program at a residential substance abuse treatment center for pregnant and postpartum women and their children. It traces the evolution of tactics to defuse resistance and enlist client support for the program. The development of techniques to measure the effectiveness of the program are also presented. Preliminary results indicate that a properly designed program can be instituted at a residential treatment center for women without excessive program disruption and with positive results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Chemical dependence
  • Children
  • Involuntary smoking cessation
  • Nicotine
  • Substance abuse
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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