Background: Efficacious smoking cessation interventions exist, yet few smokers utilise available resources such as psychosocial treatment programs and pharmacotherapy. The goals of the present study were to (1) identify perceived barriers to entering smoking cessation treatment programs among socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers, who are presently underrepresented in smoking cessation interventions; (2) determine what variables are most important in predicting the barriers identified (i.e., age, gender, ethnicity, income, nicotine dependence level, smoking rate, years smoking, stage of change, presence of smoking-related illness and medical insurance status). Methods: Responses from socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers (N = 343) were collected in 2004–2005 and analysed to develop the Treatment Barriers Questionnaire, a 40-item measure of reasons for not entering smoking cessation programs. Study methods were approved by the Institutional Review Board of Louisiana State University; informed consent procedures were employed. Results: Principal components analysis yielded seven scales named for their theme: (1) Preparedness to Quit Smoking; (2) Work and Time Constraints; (3) Smokers Can or Should Quit on Own; (4) Opinions about Professional Assistance; (5) Mobility Limitations; (6) Insurance Limitations and (7) Misinformation about Professional Assistance. Gender, ethnicity, daily smoking rate, nicotine dependence and stage of change were significant predictors in regression analyses for scales 1, F(10, 201) = 7.83, p < .001, R2 = .29, 2 F(10, 201) = 2.30, p < .05, R2 = .11, and 3, F(10, 201) = 3.58, p < .001, R2 = .16. Conclusions: Results can inform efforts to facilitate entry and retention of smokers in cessation programs.