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Psychol Addict Behav. 2012 Sep;26(3):649-54. doi: 10.1037/a0025363. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Concurrent drinking and smoking among college students: An event-level analysis.

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Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA 98686-9600, USA.


Cigarette smoking and drinking commonly co-occur among college students, a population that is at high risk for developing alcohol and nicotine use disorders. Several studies have been conducted that have examined predictors of drinking or smoking to gain a better understanding of the antecedents of engaging in these behaviors. Yet, few studies have examined specific factors that influence concurrent smoking and drinking in this population. The current study used data from a 21-day electronic diary-based study of college students (n=86) who engaged in concurrent drinking and smoking to examine event-level associations between alcohol use and cigarette smoking in the student's natural environment. We specifically focused on within-person analyses of contexts in which students reported smoking and drinking simultaneously in comparison to contexts in which students reporting drinking without smoking. Situational contexts included environmental setting, whether s/he was alone or with others, and changes in stress and urges to smoke before initiating drinking. Results indicated that students drank more while smoking and smoked three times as many cigarettes, on average, during drinking episodes. Being with others at a party or a bar was associated with increased odds of smoking while drinking. Likewise, increased stress since the prior assessment predicted a greater likelihood of smoking while drinking. Based on the findings from the present study, it is important for future prevention and intervention efforts to consider social settings and heightened stress among students as potential risk factors for engaging in concurrent drinking and smoking.

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