The drinking-smoking syndrome and social context

Int J Addict. 1992;27(7):749-92. doi: 10.3109/10826089209068767.


Drinking and smoking concurrence is examined in a national sample of 6,072 respondents. Results indicate that the two addictive behaviors are synergistically associated in the general population: persons who both drink and smoke tend to drink to a greater extent than nonsmokers; drinkers smoke more than nondrinkers and smokers drink more than nonsmokers. As predicted, a multivariate analysis of drinking and smoking covariance was significantly correlated with social group affiliation, both across the life span and proportionately among men and women. The social context of interpersonal relationships may therefore be a critical factor in the process of pharmacological conditioning and environmental reinforcement of the drinking and smoking habits. This report confirms the strong drinking and smoking covariation found among social drinkers and heavy alcohol consumers in clinical and experimental studies, suggesting that drinking and smoking may also be interrelated in the rehabilitative process. Finally, it is suggested that the present investigation extends the research literature on the drinking and smoking syndrome in several important respects. Various implications of the study are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Class
  • Social Environment