Drug use and cigarette smoking in applicants for drug abuse treatment

J Subst Abuse. 1993;5(2):175-81. doi: 10.1016/0899-3289(93)90060-o.


Whereas smoking rates have declined in the last three decades from around 40% to under 30%, the rates for substance abuse clients remain at a plateau almost three times as high. In order to examine the relations between nicotine and drug use, applicants for drug abuse treatment were surveyed about their cigarette smoking. Results indicated that 85% of applicants were smokers. Also, it was found that for smokers, frequency and type of drug use were associated with amount of cigarette use. Among the five categories of primary drugs surveyed, heroin users had the highest levels of smoking. Additionally, frequency of primary drug use and frequency of overall drug use correlated with cigarette smoking. Within categories of primary drug, frequency of use was related to severity of nicotine dependence for marijuana only. Given the possible association between severity of illicit drug use and smoking found in this study, it behooves treatment organizations to help clients overcome their nicotine dependence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Heroin Dependence / epidemiology
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Oregon / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Methadone