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Smoking Cessation Classes and Their Effectiveness in the Federal Bureau of Prisons

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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The purpose of this study was to determine if smoking cessation classes are being offered to inmates who wish to quit smoking, identify when and what type of classes offered, who is responsible for facilitating the class, the training provided to the facilitator, and the success rates of those who attend the classes. The Federal Bureau of Prisons places strong emphases on the medical care of inmates and the costs of this care. Smoking has been proven to be the leading preventable cause of illness and disease. A Questionnaire was developed by this researcher to elicit information about smoking cessation classes in the Bureau of Prisons BOP. It consisted of four parts demographic data, setting, facilitator education, and data on the smoking cessation class itself. The questionnaire was evaluated by a panel of two persons with expertise in the area of smoking cessation. A pilot study consisting of six facilitators was conducted to evaluate test-retest reliability. The major study consisted of all ninety-six institutions. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. Study findings suggest that at the present time there are no policies and procedures on smoking cessation classes in the BOP. Smoking cessation classes are being offered by some but not all institutions and on various schedules. Knowledge and training levels differ greatly among the facilitators. In almost all cases nicotine replacement and other therapies are not available. Further research is recommended to determine future needs such as a more standardized type of smoking cessation class, regular training programs for smoking cessation facilitators, and ways of keeping better records on success rates.

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