The rate of cigarette smoking among recovering alcoholics is three times the national average. Research has shown that alcoholics are at greater risk for the negative health effects of smoking than other smokers.
People with mental illness and / or substance use disorders use 40% of all cigarettes sold in the United States. The smoking rate for people with alcohol use disorders is between 34% and 80%, while the rate for people with other substance use disorders is between 49% and 98%.If youIf you
Higher health risks for alcoholics who smoke
Research also shows that alcoholics who smoke are at a much higher risk of developing smoking-related health problems – particularly cancer and cardiovascular disease – because of the damage to the body from years of heavy drinking.If youIf you
In fact, people with an alcohol use disorder who smoke are less likely to die from an alcohol-related illness than a tobacco-related illness. Smokers with an alcohol use disorder have a 51% chance of death compared to nonsmokers with an alcohol use disorder, who have a 34% chance of death.If youIf you
The myth that quitting threatens your sobriety
One reason why few recovering alcoholics attempt to quit is because the belief that the stress of quitting could endanger their sobriety. Few treatment centers require their patients to quit drinking and smoking at the same time, especially since many of the people who work in the treatment industry are smokers themselves. Recovery group members are warned by other members to “take one addiction at a time” in order to keep the myth going.
However, scientific research tells a different story. Research shows that nicotine can increase alcohol cravings, especially for those who have always drank and smoked at the same time. In fact, continuing to smoke or starting smoking while recovering from a substance use disorder can increase a person’s risk of relapse.If youIf you
Several studies have found that quitting alcohol and cigarettes at the same time actually increases the chances of maintaining sobriety.If youIf you
Most alcoholics have tried to quit smoking
Most people recovering from alcohol use disorder know they need to quit and want to quit, but face additional challenges including stressful living conditions, low annual household incomes, and lack of access to health insurance.If youIf you
Also, many people don’t quit smoking because they are trying to do it themselves. Instead of using the same tools they used to stop drinking – medical treatment, professional advice, or joining support groups – they try to quit smoking unaided.
Reasons to quit smoking
According to Terry Martin, the smoking cessation expert at Verywell.com, the vast majority of people who smoke fervently do not want this. Quitting is definitely not easy. But it starts with the will to stop. Martin provides lists of the benefits of quitting.
Prepare to stop
Experts agree that the key to successfully quitting is preparing to quit psychologically – understanding the difficulties and preparing to face them. Martin gives some tips on how to prepare for exiting.
Get help on smoking cessation
The good news about quitting smoking is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are smoking cessation aids and a world of support to encourage you.
Thousands of people quit smoking each year and leave their nicotine addiction behind and immediately see the healing process begin within the first 20 minutes of quitting their last cigarette.