The relationship between alcohol use and attempts and success at smoking cessation

Addict Behav. 1990;15(3):197-207. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(90)90063-4.


This study assessed the relationships between alcohol use and smoking cessation in a general population sample (N = 2115) of adults living in a county in north Florida. Nearly half of the sample had ever smoked. Of these, 44% had successfully quit; 34% had tried unsuccessfully to quit; 21% reported never having tried to quit. In multivariate analyses which controlled for background factors, heavy drinkers were found to be less likely to attempt to quit smoking. And, if they had attempted to quit, they were less likely to succeed. Having quit drinking was very strongly related to success at smoking cessation, and slightly negatively related to attempts to quit smoking. Individuals who enjoyed smoking with alcohol were more likely to attempt to quit smoking and to be successful at quitting than those who did not enjoy smoking and drinking concurrently. Those who enjoyed smoking at stressful times were less likely to have tried to quit than those not using smoking to cope with stress. The authors suggest social-situational and stress perspectives as conceptual frameworks for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*