Author(s): Gulliver SB, Kalman D, Rohsenow DJ, Colby SM, Eaton CA,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The relationship between tobacco dependence and alcohol dependence has received considerable scrutiny in the past few years. The present study of alcoholics in treatment for alcoholism extended previous work by investigating the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between drinking and smoking variables. METHOD: Male and female alcoholics (N = 116) completed a standard assessment of smoking and drinking pretreatment followed by a laboratory assessment of reactivity to alcohol cues. Participants' drinking and smoking were evaluated again 6 months following treatment. RESULTS: (1) Pretreatment tobacco dependence, pretreatment alcohol dependence, urge to smoke and urge to drink were positively correlated; (2) smoking rates and drinking rates were not correlated either before or following treatment; (3) pretreatment smoking history did not predict posttreatment drinking; (4) the rate of smoking declined following treatment for alcoholism for 45\% of the smoking patients who completed a 6-month follow-up, independent of relapse status; and (5) relapsers who smoked more heavily also drank less frequently during follow up. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent but modest cross-sectional relationships between drinking and smoking variables before alcohol treatment decrease after treatment for alcohol dependence. A spontaneous improvement in smoking rate occurs in many (45\%), particularly among those who smoked more heavily pretreatment and thus benefit most by the reduction. Directions for future research are discussed.
This article was published in J Stud Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy