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Contingency management for tobacco smoking during opioid addiction treatment: Implementation challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
E-pub ahead of print24 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

King's Authors


INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Tobacco smoking prevalence in opioid addiction patients is approximately six times that of the general population, highlighting the need for novel interventions. A pilot/feasibility study was conducted to investigate whether a contingency management (CM) intervention could be added to UK standard smoking cessation treatment. The aim of this report is to describe the challenges experienced during the implementation of this CM intervention.

DESIGN AND METHODS: A two-armed, randomised, pilot/feasibility study of a 5-week escalating with reset CM intervention, conducted as an adjunct to smoking cessation treatment in an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment centre.

RESULTS: Forty participants were recruited, but only 19 attended the baseline session. Ten participants attended all treatment sessions (25% retention), with only one contactable at 6-month follow-up. While smoking cessation clinic engagement was higher than previously, implementation issues included limited operating hours of the smoking treatment clinic, ineffective biochemical verification of abstinence and overly restrictive inclusion criteria.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This study highlighted not only the difficulty of integrating CM interventions into standard smoking cessation treatment for this population, but also the potential of CM to engage this group with smoking cessation treatment. Future research in this area should consider increasing the availability and flexibility of smoking cessation treatment, and relaxing inclusion criteria to be more reflective of the opioid-treatment-seeking population. This study is registered on (NCT03015597,

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