Proactive Tobacco Treatment for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Patrick J. Hammett, Sandra J. Japuntich, Scott E. Sherman, Erin S. Rogers, Elisheva R. Danan, Siamak Noorbaloochi, Omar El-Shahawy, Diana J. Burgess, Steven S. Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) smoke at higher rates compared to the general population and experience significant barriers to initiating cessation treatment. Proactive outreach addresses these barriers by directly engaging with smokers and facilitating access to treatment. The objective of the present study was to evaluate a proactive outreach intervention for increasing rates of treatment utilization and abstinence among veteran smokers with and without PTSD. Method: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial conducted from 2013 to 2017 that demonstrated the effectiveness of proactive outreach among veterans using Veterans Affairs mental health care services. Electronic medical record data were used to identify participants with (n = 355) and without (n = 1,583) a diagnosis of PTSD. Logistic regressions modeled cessation treatment utilization (counseling, nicotine replacement therapy [NRT], and combination treatment) and abstinence (7-day point prevalence and 6-month prolonged at 6- and 12-month follow-ups) among participants randomized to proactive outreach versus usual care in the PTSD and non-PTSD subgroups, respectively. Results: Compared to usual care, proactive outreach increased combined counseling and NRT utilization among participants with PTSD (odds ratio [OR] = 26.25, 95% confidence interval [3.43, 201.17]) and without PTSD (OR = 10.20, [5.21, 19.98]). Proactive outreach also increased 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 12 months among participants with PTSD (OR = 2.62, [1.16, 5.91]) and without PTSD (OR = 1.61, [1.11, 2.34]). Conclusions: Proactive outreach increased treatment utilization and abstinence among smokers with and without PTSD. Smokers with PTSD may need additional facilitation to initiate cessation treatment but are receptive when it is offered proactively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Proactive outreach
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Smoking cessation
  • Veterans' health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Proactive Tobacco Treatment for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this