Extending smoking abstinence after release from smoke-free prisons: protocol for a randomised controlled trial
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Background: A smoking ban was implemented across all prisons in Queensland, Australia, in May 2014, with the aim of improving the health of prisoners and prison staff. However, relapse to smoking after release from prison is common. Only one previous study, conducted in the United States, has used a randomised design to evaluate an intervention to assist individuals in remaining abstinent from smoking following release from a smoke-free prison. Methods: This paper describes the rationale for and design of a randomised controlled trial of an intervention to extend smoking abstinence in men after release from smoke-free prisons in the state of Queensland, Australia. Participants in the intervention group will receive a brief intervention involving four group sessions of motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy, initiated 4 weeks prior to release from prison. The comparison group will receive a pamphlet and brief verbal intervention at the time of baseline assessment. Assessment of self-reported, post-release smoking status will be conducted by parole officers at regular parole meetings with the primary outcome measured at 1 month post release. Discussion: The prevalence of smoking and related health harms among people who experience incarceration is extremely high. Effective interventions that result in long-term smoking cessation are needed to reduce existing health disparities in this vulnerable population.
Health & Justice
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