Individuals with Type 2 diabetes smoke at rates similar to those found in the general population, and the health consequences of smoking are particularly severe among smokers with diabetes. In fact, there appears to be a synergistic effect between smoking and diabetes on mortality. However, despite reports that highlight the importance of this work, a paucity of studies have been conducted to develop and test smoking cessation interventions tailored to meet the needs of individuals with diabetes. The small number of extant studies have yielded mixed results. Distress tolerance (DT) focused, acceptance-based interventions have demonstrated efficacy for smoking cessation, and there is increasing support for the conceptual model underlying these interventions among individuals with diabetes. The long-term objective of this research program is to improve smoking cessation treatment for individuals with Type 2 diabetes by developing and establishing the efficacy of a DT smoking cessation intervention tailored to this population. Furthermore, we seek to advance knowledge of the relationships among nicotine withdrawal, negative affect, distress tolerance, and smoking cessation outcomes among individuals with diabetes. In the present application, we propose to develop a DT intervention tailored to meet the needs of smokers with Type 2 diabetes. In the first phase of this project, we will develop and pilot the intervention with 18 patients. In the second phase of the project, we will conduct a preliminary, randomized trial with 54 patients to examine the efficacy of the DT intervention relative to a standard smoking cessation treatment (ST) that equates for therapist contact time. Patients in both conditions will receive the transdermal nicotine patch. We expect that, relative to the ST condition, patients randomized to the DT condition will have increased likelihood of smoking abstinence and increased latency to both smoking lapse and relapse. If the efficacy of this intervention can be established in this trial and in subsequent large scale randomized controlled trials, smokers with diabetes will have improved smoking cessation treatment options. The need for this work is great given the paucity of extant work in this area, the significantly heightened risk of morbidity and mortality from smoking among diabetic patients, the rapidly increasing rate of diabetes in the U.S., and an apparent stabilization of the smoking rate in recent years.
The proposed study aims to develop and test a smoking cessation intervention for smokers with Type 2 diabetes. This is an important population on which to focus given the increased risk of negative health effects from smoking among individuals with diabetes. If successful, this intervention could help individuals with diabetes to successfully quit smoking and to live longer, healthier lives.