Dr. Renee Goodwin, a Professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and colleagues examined the cigarette smoking quit rate among a representative sample of U.S. adults with and without heavy alcohol use. The findings were published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
[Photo: Dr. Renee Goodwin]
The research team used data were from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of U.S. persons. Quit rate (i.e., the rate of former smokers to ever smokers) was calculated annually from 2002 to 2014 (for heavy alcohol use) and 2015 (for alcohol use disorders). Time trends in quit rates by alcohol use disorders / heavy alcohol use status were tested using linear regression.
The prevalence of past-month cigarette smoking was much higher for persons with alcohol use disorder compared to those without alcohol use disorder (38 percent vs. 18 percent) and for those heavy alcohol use compared to those without heavy alcohol use (49 percent vs. 19 percent). In the most recent data year, the quit rate for persons with alcohol use disorders was approximately half that of persons without alcohol use disorders (26 percent versus 49 percent) and for persons with heavy alcohol use was less than half that of persons without heavy alcohol use (22 percent versus 48 percent). Over time, the smoking quit rate increased for persons with and without alcohol use disorders/heavy alcohol use and the rate of increase was greater for persons with alcohol use disorders/heavy alcohol use. Yet, quit rates for persons with alcohol use disorders and heavy alcohol use remained much lower than persons without alcohol use disorders and heavy alcohol use.
The research team concluded that it may be beneficial for public health and clinical efforts to incorporate screenings and treatment for tobacco use into programs for adults with alcohol use disorders and heavy alcohol use.