A cross-sectional survey was mailed to all Australian drug and alcohol treatment agencies to assess their smoking cessation policies and practices and related staff attitudes. Barriers to smoking cessation interventions were also examined. Completed questionnaires were returned by 213 managers and 204 other staff representing 260 agencies (59.8% consent rate). Approximately one-quarter of agencies have smoking cessation intervention policies and one-third of clients receive adequate smoking advice. Of 12 intervention strategies, only the recording of smoking status on. le occurs in a majority of cases. Concerns about the potential negative impact of smoking interventions and lack of client interest were endorsed as very important barriers by the highest percentage of respondents. 12.6% of managers and 16.5% of other staff agreed that it is occasionally useful for staff to smoke with a client. Smoking cessation receives little systematic attention from drug and alcohol agencies. Training and policy initiatives are needed urgently to address negative staff attitudes impeding progress in this area.
Drug and Alcohol Review Vol. 24, no. 3, p. 235-244