Smoking Cessation Benefits and Early Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery
Over the next few weeks we will be releasing 11 astonishing and quite taboo topics that are often not disclosed to the community involved in addiction and recovery and thus the addicts and family who learn from them. These post will cover beliefs regarding alcohol and drug addiction and recovery which are widely accepted today by most addiction professionals, yet empirical evidence and scientific studies have rose many questions regarding these traditional assumptions and teachings of addiction treatment . These misconceptions arise due to two main issues. First off, there is a lack of communication between disciplines. Secondly, the addiction treatment modalities experiential bias. Therefore, in order to advance the drug and alcohol addiction field beyond faith and supposition, the field’s professionals need to place more of an emphasis of the importance of empiricism.
This 11 post set will include the following articles:
- The Minnesota Model’s Lack of Empirical Support.
- Alcoholics Anonymous is Not Necessary for Maintaining Abstinence.
- The Existence of Spontaneous Remission.
- Labeling Addicts is Actually Detrimental.
- Are Addicted Individuals Self-Reports Valuable?
- The Validity of the Addictive Personality Concept.
- Exposure as an Underutilized Intervention.
- The Interaction Nature of Motivation.
- Is the Addiction Concept Overused?
- Is Codependency in Addiction Actually a Disease?
and of course the following article regarding smoking cessation benefits to early addiction recovery.
Addiction and smoking seem to go hand in hand, as well as smoking cessation benefits and relapse prevention, yet we will touch on th
at latter. In a 1984 study of alcoholics, ( Itvan & Matarazzo), found that nearly 90% smoked cigarettes, compared to only 30% of those in the general population ( Pierce, Fiore, Novotny, Hatziandreu, & Davis, 1989). In addition to alcoholics being more likely to smoke, those who drank heavily are less likely to attempt to stop smoking compared to those who drank less. ( Zimmerman, Warheit, Ulbrich, & Auth, 1990). When the first author cited here asked a group of addicts about their plans to stop smoking, he described the addicted individuals as reacting to his question with incredulity. They did not even consider the possibility of quitting smoking as they regarded the act as entirely to difficult to even attempt, even with smoking cessation benefits being what they are. Another common belief by addicts involved in the study, was that they were in treatment to stop using drugs and/or alcohol, not for smoking cessation benefits. This notion is widely supported by the addiction treatment establishment in this country as well. Many treatment professionals, including medical doctors assume that smoking cessation will detract much needed attention away from the treatment of drug addictions and alcoholism.
Do Smoking Cessation Benefits Outweigh These Beliefs?
While the majority accepts this assumption that the primary drug or alcohol addiction should be concentrated upon first, this alone is highly questionable considering the severe consequences of nicotine addiction, which often outweigh the consequences of the addicts drug of choice. Smoking cessation benefits are huge! Yet, smoking is not just smoking. It is related to a number of undesirable health practices and behaviors according to ample evidence which exists on nicotine addiction. In fact, smokers have more addictive tendencies, antisocial behavior, and questionable health habits than their nonsmoker counterpart (  Coambs, Kozlowski, & Ferrence, 1989). In addition to these undesirable traits, heavy smokers are far less physically active and sleep less that nonsmokers, causing for a plethora of additional physical and psychological issues. Yet, all the more astonishing, this study found smokers have increased tendencies to engage in high-risk behavior (such as visiting high-crime areas and carrying guns). They are also more likely than nonsmokers to get into arguments and use medications (  “Smokers’ Problems,” 1988).
Smoking Cessation Benefits to Relapse Prevention
There are both physical and psychological aspects to recovery today as addiction treatment has evolved into a holistic approach. Because of this there exists a quasi-support for maintaining smoking as a tool in relapse prevention which is outright dubious. Smoking cessation benefits both a patients health as well as assists in maintaining sobriety from their drug or alcohol addiction.
What are the outcomes for treatments that do include smoking cessation benefits as an intervention?
Recent findings in addiction research suggests the exact opposite of the widely held belief that smoking cessation will detract from drug and/or alcohol recovery. One study found that alcoholics who stop smoking are much more likely to develop long-term abstinence from alcohol (  Bobo, 1989). An addict’s relapse potential is not increased by smoking cessation.
Considering the fact that drug and alcohol rehabilitation has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, it seems as if treatment professionals employed by these rehabilitation centers are persuaded one way or another to express their belief in smoking cessation benefits as detracting from rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol. This being due to a fear of lower occupancy rates for the rehabilitation centers. Yet, another journal article, written by Hurt and Slade, which focused on a survey conducted by the Society of American Medicine, found that no-smoking policies within rehabilitation centers do not lead to lower occupancy rates, tend to require more physical restraints of attendees, nor do they increase discharge against medical advice. According to a review of smoking cessation benefits among psychiatric patients found that even those with the most severe disorders were able to stop (  Hurt and Slade, 1990).
Yet, this study reported that actually half of the surveyed treatment center directors did not believe that the addicted individuals treatment for drug and/or alcohol addictions would be interfered with due to smoking cessation. In addition to these empirical findings, the study found that even adolescents attending inpatient addiction treatment centers, who would be expected to be particularity resistant, seemed to accept a smoking ban. This acceptance was concluded due to the adolescents lack of complaining of nicotine withdrawal, not requesting nicotine gum, as well as not seeking out illicit cigarettes (  Kaplan, Busner, Rogers, & Wasserman, 1990).
What obstacles Exist to Smoking Cessation?
When presented with the following information, one might find themselves asking, “What obstacles exist to smoking cessation in sight of all these studies?” In addition to the two main reasons covered in the beginning of the article (lack of communication between disciplines & the addiction treatment modalities experiential bias) another obstacle is due to staff members who are still smoking themselves or those who underestimate smoking as an addictive activity (  Sees, 1990;  Wallace, 1986). Sadly, until this taboo belief changes many former drug or alcohol addicted individuals will die of tobacco related illness, even though sober from their initial drug or alcohol addiction according to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 36; 205–219 (  Baca and Yahne, 2009).
If you agree as to smoking cessation benefits and that is actually has assists addicts in maintaining long term sobriety and not the other way around, or you agree with the common consensus still out there today, let us know! Leave a comment outlining your beliefs on the subject as well as any personal experience you might have had. Remember, we have just enacted a new policy of making all comment links “do-follow” so we can pass on some of that all important Google “link-juice” to your addiction and recovery based website or blog!
 Istvan, J., & Matarazzo, J.D. (1984). Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine use: A review of their interrelationships. Psychological Bulletin,
 Pierce, J.P., Fiore, M.C., Novotny, T.E., Hatziandreu, E.J., & Davis, R.M. (1989). Trends in cigarette smoking in the United
States: Projections to the year 2000. Journal of the American Medical Association, 261, 61-65.
 Zimmerman, R.S., Warheit, G.J., Ulbrich, P.M., Jr Auth, J.B. (1990). The relationship between alcohol use and attempts and
success at smoking cessation. Addictive Behaviors, 15, 197-207.
 Coambs, R.B., Kozlowski, L.T., & Ferrence. R.G. (1989). The future of tobacco use and smoking research. In T. Ney & A. Gale @Is.),
Smoking and human behavior (pp. 337-348). New York: John Wiley Br Sons.
Back to Top
 Smokers’ problems go well beyond smoking. (1988, August 23). Wall
Street Journal, p. 2.
 Bobo, J.K. (1989). Nicotine dependence and alcoholism epidemiology
and treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 21, 323-329.
 Hurt, R., & Slade, J. (1990, May-June). Nicotine and the treatment
center. Professional Counselor, pp. 64-73.
 Kaplan, S.L., Busner, J., Rogers, E., & Wasserman, E. (1990). Patient, parent, and staff attitudes toward allowing adolescent
psychiatric inpatients to smoke. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 925-928.
Back to Top
 Sees, K.L. (1990). Cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence, and treatment.
Western Journal of Medicine, 152, 578-584.
 Wallace, B.C. (1989). Psychological and environmental determinants
of relapse in crack cocaine smokers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 6, 95-106.
 Baca, C.T., & Yahne, C.E. (2009) Smoking cessation during substance abuse treatment:
What you need to know. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 36, 205–219.
Back to Top
Thank you for reading about smoking cessation benefits on an addicts health as well as their ability for long-term sobriety, stay tuned for our next traditional assumptions and teachings of addiction treatment and the empirical studies which prove it wrong!alcohol long term abstinence and smoking, quit smoking relapse prevention, smoking cessation and addiction recovery, smoking cessation drug recovery