Waking at night to smoke as a marker for tobacco dependence: Patient characteristics and relationship to treatment outcome

M. T. Bover, J. Foulds, M. B. Steinberg, D. Richardson, S. W. Marcella

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45 Scopus citations


Aim: This study aimed to describe the characteristics of treatment-seeking patients who wake at night to smoke (night-smoking), identify factors that may be associated with night-smoking, and assess the association between night-smoking and treatment outcome. Methods: A total of 2312 consecutive eligible cigarette smokers who sought treatment at a specialist tobacco-dependence clinic declared a Target Quit Date, provided baseline information at assessment, and were then followed-up 4 and 26 weeks after their target quit date. Results: Of the total sample, 51.1% were identified as night-smokers and 25.1% reported smoking abstinence at 26-week follow-up. Night-smoking was associated with a number of other patient characteristics, including African-American race or Hispanic ethnicity, having smoking-related medical symptoms, having been treated for a behavioural health problem, smoking mentholated cigarettes, smoking within 30 min of waking in the morning, increased cigarettes smoked per day, and not having private health insurance. In multivariate analyses, night-smoking at assessment remained a significant predictor of smoking at 26-week follow-up when controlling for other factors associated with treatment outcome (adjusted odds ratio: 0.77, 95% confidence interval: 0.62-0.96). Night-smokers also experienced a shorter average time to relapse (38.5 vs. 56 days, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Several socioeconomic and tobacco use characteristics are shared among patients who wake at night to smoke. This behaviour can be assessed by a simple question and used as a marker for tobacco dependence and as an indicator that more intensive and sustained treatment may be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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