Cognitive behavioral smoking cessation during alcohol detoxification treatment: a randomized, controlled trial

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Dec 1;126(3):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.05.026. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


Background: Among alcohol-dependent subjects tobacco smoking is very common and causes a variety of health risks. Therefore, it is necessary to reach this high-risk population early with appropriate smoking interventions.

Methods: Smokers in alcohol detoxification treatment were offered to participate in a smoking cessation study. A total of 103 patients was enrolled and randomly assigned to either the experimental group (EG) receiving a cognitive behavioral smoking cessation treatment (CBT) or the control group (CG) receiving autogenic training. Smoking outcomes were measured by self-report and carbon monoxide levels, directly after intervention and 6 months later, where additionally alcohol outcomes were recorded.

Results: There were no differences in smoking quit rates directly after intervention. However, patients in the EG were significantly more likely to reduce their daily cigarette use compared to CG (p=.046). Sub-group analyses revealed that heavy smokers (FTND score ≥ 7) seemed to profit most in the EG regarding cigarette reduction. After 6 months, these positive effects had leveled out. No evidence was found that smoking cessation might jeopardize alcohol outcomes.

Conclusions: Results suggest that alcohol-dependent smokers are interested in smoking interventions even during alcohol detoxification. CBT is promising in short-term smoking outcomes and in the approach of harm reduction, however, long-term effects are desirable. These findings underline the feasibility and the importance to provide smoking cessation interventions to patients in alcohol detoxification treatments.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome