Background and Objectives
Smoking prevalence among women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) is two to three times higher than the prevalence among women nationally. Yet, research on cigarette smoking among this population of women is scarce.
This study examined differences between daily smokers and non-smokers among a sample of 186 IPV-victimized women. Comparing these groups may identify key factors that could inform future research, and ultimately, smoking cessation interventions to improve women's health.
Results showed that smokers and non-smokers differed in terms of alcohol and drug use problem severity, posttraumatic stress symptom severity, psychological and physical IPV victimization severity, and severity of use of psychological and physical IPV. Smokers fared worse on all domains where differences emerged. Findings of a logistic regression demonstrated that alcohol problem severity was related to daily smoking status; post hoc analysis revealed that the effect of alcohol problem severity was moderated by the level of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) avoidance symptom severity.
Discussion and Conclusions
Findings suggest a sub-population of women experiencing IPV who smoke and incur additional risk for psychiatric symptom severity and maladaptive behaviors. This study suggests the need to examine factors such as IPV and its negative sequelae to inform smoking cessation research for women.
This study contributes to the scarce literature examining the intersections of PTSD, alcohol and drug use, and smoking. Examining these factors in the context of IPV, which is a highly prevalent problem, is critical to informing future treatment development investigations. (Am J Addict 2015;24:546–553)