This study was conducted at the University of California in San Francisco. Researchers analysed 54 separate tobacco studies that contained more than 36,000 samples of patients in treatment for an addiction. These studies combined reveal that 84% of patients being treated for drug or alcohol addiction also suffered from a tobacco addiction. These studies were conducted in over 20 different countries. For America, the study revealed 76% of people receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction also harboured an addiction to tobacco.
For the general population, a mere 31% of people are known to smoke tobacco.
Joseph Guydish, the leader of the study, said: “When people come into treatment for drugs and alcohol, we are not treating another addiction that has a significant chance of eventually killing them, which is tobacco use.”
Professor Guydish calls on drug and alcohol rehab centres to do more to treat tobacco addiction.
Guydish said: “Every person who enters substance abuse treatment ought to have their tobacco use evaluated and treated.
“If they don’t want to be treated and quit right away, they should have some education to help them think more about quitting.”
Guydish believes if rehab centres also treat patients for tobacco addiction, they will also increase their patients’ long-term odds of staying in recovery for substance addiction. Guydish says that by not treating tobacco addiction, rehab centres trivialise this life-threatening addiction.