Residential treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) provides opportunity for smoking intervention. A randomized controlled trial compared: (1) motivational interviewing (MI) to brief advice (BA), (2) in one session or with two booster sessions, for 165 alcoholics in SUD treatment. All received nicotine replacement (NRT). MI and BA produced equivalent confirmed abstinence, averaging 10% at 1 month, and 2% at 3, 6 and 12 months. However, patients with more drug use pretreatment (> 22 days in 6 months) given BA had more abstinence at 12 months (7%) than patients in MI or with less drug use (all 0%). Boosters produced 16–31% fewer cigarettes per day after BA than MI. Substance use was unaffected by treatment condition or smoking cessation. Motivation to quit was higher after BA than MI. Thus, BA plus NRT may be a cost-effective way to reduce smoking for alcoholics with comorbid substance use who are not seeking smoking cessation.

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