Smoking Behavior and Readiness to Change in Male Veterans With Spinal Cord Injuries

Frances M. Weaver*, Sherri L. LaVela, Scott Miskevics, Nakia Clemmons, Elizabeth A. Janke, Bonnie Spring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Little is known about psychological factors associated with tobacco use in persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI&D). Method: Veterans with SCI&D who were current or past smokers were mailed survey questions about physical dependence on nicotine, motivation to smoke, readiness to quit, and use of tobacco cessation methods. Results: Of 684 respondents, 19% were current smokers. They were younger (Ms = 56.4 vs. 63.3 years; p < .0001) and were more prone to alcohol use, depression, and posttraumatic stress than past smokers. Past smokers most frequently quit on their own. Most current smokers had low addiction levels; 15% had medium and 27% had high levels; one third were ready to make changes. Common smoking motives included relaxation, tension reduction, and psychological addiction. Discussion: More smokers than are offered may benefit from evidence-based, behavioral interventions. Treatment targeting self-efficacy enhancement is warranted for those ready to change; brief behavioral interventions, such as stress management, ongoing monitoring, and feedback regarding current smoking status are suggested for those not yet ready to quit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • behavior change
  • spinal cord injury
  • tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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