The University of Texas School of Public Health’s researchers have revealed findings from a recent study that can help identify situations wherein smokers who are trying to quit may have an increased risk of relapsing. Several studies in the past have explored the direct relationship of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking, but none so far have touched on how the effect of alcohol on “quitters'” urges during smoking cessation.
Michael Businelle, Ph.D., assistant professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health, gathered data from 302 female participants who were trying to quit cigarette smoking. These women, aged 18 to 70, noted their urges to smoke throughout the day, followed by an assessment for every time they were tempted. Researchers found that the participants’ urge to smoke peaked on days when they would consume alcohol. These urges would even precede alcohol consumption, suggesting that the temptation to smoke may lead to drink and not vice-versa.
According to Science Daily:
“Identification of situations that increase the risk for relapse will aid in the development of novel interventions that can address these situations in the moment of occurrence,” said Businelle.
According to Businelle, “On any given quit attempt, five out of 100 people are successful at quitting ‘cold turkey,’ 32 percent of those who take varenicline successfully quit, 25 percent of those who use patches and/or gum successfully quit, while those who combine counseling with medications have the best quit rates, greater than 30 percent.”
With the newly-approved Texas state budget focusing heavily on providing health services for addiction in the name of public health, research such as this will most definitely spark continued research into the understanding and treatment of addiction.