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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Dec 1;126(3):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.05.026. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Cognitive behavioral smoking cessation during alcohol detoxification treatment: a randomized, controlled trial.

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Division of Substance Use Disorders, Psychiatric Hospital of University of Basel, CH-4012 Basel, Switzerland.



Among alcohol-dependent subjects tobacco smoking is very common and causes a variety of health risks. Therefore, it is necessary to reach this high-risk population early with appropriate smoking interventions.


Smokers in alcohol detoxification treatment were offered to participate in a smoking cessation study. A total of 103 patients was enrolled and randomly assigned to either the experimental group (EG) receiving a cognitive behavioral smoking cessation treatment (CBT) or the control group (CG) receiving autogenic training. Smoking outcomes were measured by self-report and carbon monoxide levels, directly after intervention and 6 months later, where additionally alcohol outcomes were recorded.


There were no differences in smoking quit rates directly after intervention. However, patients in the EG were significantly more likely to reduce their daily cigarette use compared to CG (p=.046). Sub-group analyses revealed that heavy smokers (FTND score ≥ 7) seemed to profit most in the EG regarding cigarette reduction. After 6 months, these positive effects had leveled out. No evidence was found that smoking cessation might jeopardize alcohol outcomes.


Results suggest that alcohol-dependent smokers are interested in smoking interventions even during alcohol detoxification. CBT is promising in short-term smoking outcomes and in the approach of harm reduction, however, long-term effects are desirable. These findings underline the feasibility and the importance to provide smoking cessation interventions to patients in alcohol detoxification treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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