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Study states that smoking hinders alcohol treatment progress

January 6, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A study that examined adults in outpatient addiction treatment at more than 200 clinics in New York has concluded that smoking impedes progress in alcohol treatment.

Published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse, the study suggests that client smoking has a negative effect on engagement in services for alcohol abuse. “Tobacco smokers had shorter treatment durations and were less likely to have achieved their alcohol-related goals at discharge relative to their nonsmoking counterparts,” Kimberly Walitzer, PhD, senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions and lead author of the study, said in a news release.

The study also found particularly troubling outcomes for women who smoke. Walitzer's data found that 67% of women seeking alcohol treatment were smokers, and they faced more difficult circumstances and poorer outcomes than men in treatment who smoked.

The study looked at more than 21,000 adult treatment seekers from 253 outpatient substance use treatment clinics in New York.