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Addict Behav. 2008 Nov;33(11):1425-31. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.06.012. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Differences between daily smokers, chippers, and nonsmokers with co-occurring anxiety and alcohol-use disorders.

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  • 1VA Boston Healthcare System, USA.


Tobacco use is disproportionately represented among both alcohol-use disorders (AUDs) and anxiety disorders (ANX) compared to the general population [Kalman, D. A., Morissette, S. B., & George, T. P. (2005). Co-morbidity of nicotine and tobacco use in psychiatric and substance use disorders. The American Journal on Addictions, 14, 1-18]. Despite this common overlap, little is known about how smokers with co-occurring AUD-ANX differ from their nonsmoking counterparts. Seventy-two patients participated in a larger clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of venlafaxine and cognitive-behavioral therapy for AUD-ANX. Differences between daily smokers (n=23), chippers (n=12) and nonsmokers (n=37) with AUD-ANX were examined with respect to intensity and frequency of alcohol use, anxiety symptoms, depressed mood, and stress. Point prevalence of current daily smoking was 31.9%, which is considerably lower than traditionally reported in AUD studies. Consistent with predictions, daily smokers reported higher levels of alcohol dependence, average drinks per drinking occasion, and peak blood concentration levels in a day than nonsmokers during the 90 days prior to assessment. Chippers were nonsignificantly different from either smokers or nonsmokers. Smokers and nonsmokers did not differ with respect to percent heavy drinking days or emotional symptoms.

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