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Stopping smoking helps with other addictions too

According to an Article in ‘Recovery Review’,Smokefree Warwickshire smoking and other addictions go hand in hand. In treatment populations, it’s usual to find that about 80-90% of clients are current smokers, compared to 20% of the general population. Smoking prevalence in recovery is significantly more than 50%. From a public health perspective, these figures are terrible given that one in two smokers will die of a smoking-related condition. There’s a terrible irony in the fact that so many in long term recovery will still die of addiction.

Perhaps one of the reasons that smoking in recovery and in treatment is not tackled is because of persistent myths.

Myth 1: Smoking is more benign than alcoholism.

Mortality statistics suggest that more people with alcoholism die from smoking-related diseases than from alcohol-related diseases. (Hurt et al, 1996)

Myth 2: Smokers aren’t interested in stopping or can’t

There is no evidence to support this. In fact the evidence suggests that the majority of smokers (80%) want to quit and that addictions do not have to be tackled one at a time. (Prochaska et al, 2004)

Myth 3: Stopping smoking will make relapse more likely.

Not a bit of it. Participation in smoking cessation efforts while engaged in other substance abuse treatment has been associated with a 25 percent greater likelihood of long-term abstinence from alcohol and other drugs (Prochaska et al. 2004). Data indirectly suggest that continued smoking increases the risk of alcohol relapse among alcohol-dependent smokers (Taylor et al. 2000).


In Warwickshire there is a free Stop Smoking Service. For help and advice call 0800 0852 917, text LIFE to 80800 or visit

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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