Associations Between Chronic Pain and Use of Pharmacotherapy for Smoking Cessation
Chronic pain and tobacco dependence are two highly prevalent and comorbid conditions. The rate of smoking among persons in pain may be greater than twice the rate observed in the general population. Smokers tend to experience more adverse pain-treatment outcomes than do nonsmokers, and there is mounting evidence to suggest that smokers with comorbid pain disorders may have more difficulty abstaining from tobacco. The main goal of the current study was to examine cross-sectional relations between chronic pain status and past use of pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation. We also tested associations between chronic pain status and frequency of past quit attempts. Data were derived from a nationally-representative survey of households in the continental United States. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, substance use, mood and anxiety disorders, and number of attempts to quit smoking, smokers with chronic pain were found to be 1.67 times more likely to endorse past use of pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation, relative to smokers with no chronic pain. Chronic pain status was not associated with number of past attempts to quit smoking. These data suggest that smokers with chronic pain are motivated to quit smoking, and may be particularly amenable to pharmacologic intervention. Results are discussed with regard to clinical implications and directions for future research.