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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2012 Dec;80(6):1075-85. doi: 10.1037/a0029931. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Relations of alcohol consumption with smoking cessation milestones and tobacco dependence.

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University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.



Alcohol consumption is associated with smoking cessation failure in both community and clinical research. However, little is known about the relation between alcohol consumption and smoking cessation milestones (i.e., achieving initial abstinence, avoiding lapses and relapse). Our objective in this research was to examine the relations between pretreatment alcohol consumption patterns (non/infrequent drinker, moderate drinker, binge drinker) and smoking cessation milestones and tobacco dependence.


Data were collected from 1,504 smokers (58.2% women; 83.9% White; mean age = 44.67 years, SD = 11.08) making an aided smoking cessation attempt as part of a clinical trial. Alcohol consumption pattern was determined with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Tobacco dependence was assessed with the Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives (WISDM).


Alcohol consumption pattern was significantly associated with initial cessation and lapse, and these findings remained after controlling for the effects of treatment, race, gender, and cigarettes per day. Relative to moderate drinkers, both non/infrequent drinkers and binge drinkers were less likely to achieve initial cessation (p < .05), and binge drinkers were more likely to lapse (p < .01). When drinking categories were compared on tobacco dependence indices, results showed that relative to moderate drinkers, non/infrequent drinkers scored higher on several WISDM Primary Dependence Motives subscales (Tolerance, Loss of Control, and Automaticity) and binge drinkers scored higher on WISDM Secondary Dependence Motives subscales (Cue Exposure and Social-Environmental Goads).


Non/infrequent drinkers' smoking cessation difficulties may be particularly related to core features of tobacco dependence, whereas binge drinkers' difficulties may be related to environmental and social influences.

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