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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2002 Oct;4(5):388-96.

Current perspectives on smoking cessation among substance abusers.

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Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, NY 10032, USA.


The prevalence of nicotine dependence among alcohol or other substance abusers is extremely high, and surveys have revealed that many patients in drug or alcohol treatment programs are interested in smoking cessation. However, smoking cessation has not been a traditional focus in clinical interventions for this population. Recent evidence from clinical trials among individuals abusing alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or opioids have shown the following: 1) smokers with a past but not current history of alcohol dependence have a similar rate of success compared with non-alcoholic smokers; 2) tobacco abstinence does not increase alcohol relapse; 3) continued smoking adversely affects treatment for marijuana dependence; 4) patterns of cocaine and nicotine use are interrelated; 5) smoking cessation rates among opioid-dependent individuals are several times lower than in the general US population. Smoking cessation is indicated for substance dependent persons already in recovery and may protect against relapse to the illicit drug of abuse.

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