December 11, 2014

Smoking interferes with alcohol treatment

People who smoke have shorter and less successful stays in alcohol treatment centers, according to a recent study.

The study examined more that 21,000 people who were in outpatient treatment centers across New York state.

“The data suggest that smoking is associated with difficulties in alcohol treatment,” said Kimberly Walitzer, the study author. “Tobacco smokers had shorter treatment durations and were less likely to have achieved their alcohol-related goals at discharge relative to their nonsmoking counterparts.”

Sixty-seven percent of women and 61 percent of men who seek alcohol treatment also smoke tobacco, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While smoking during treatment leads to challenges, as shown in this study, it is also difficult to end both habits at once.

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