Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Adding Alcohol Intervention Can Help Smoking Cessation

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Adding Alcohol Intervention Can Help Smoking Cessation

Article excerpt

AUSTIN, TEX. -- Adding a brief alcohol intervention to treatment for smoking cessation can improve patients' odds of quitting smoking, Christopher Kahler, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Dr. Kahler and his colleagues at Brown University, Providence, R.I., conducted a randomized controlled trial of 176 smokers who drank heavily but who were not alcohol dependent. The investigators defined drinking heavily as drinking five or more drinks per occasion on 5 or more days in the past 30 days.

Participants were assigned to either standard cessation treatment alone (ST) or to standard cessation treatment plus a brief alcohol intervention (ST-BI), Dr. Kahler reported.

Both groups received four individual counseling sessions and 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy using a nicotine patch. Initially, a modestly increased tendency toward smoking abstinence was seen in the ST-BI group, but it did not reach statistical significance. However, when the 28 participants who drank the most heavily (four or more drinks per day for men and three or more drinks per day for women) were eliminated, ST-BI showed a statistically significant effect on smoking abstinence in the heavy drinkers. …

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