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Motivation to Quit Smoking and to Refrain From Drinking in a Sample of Alcohol-dependent Inpatients: Importance of Abstinence, Self-efficacy, and Treatment Outcome

Demmel, Ralf PhD*; Nicolai, Jennifer PhD

Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment: June 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 2 - p 99-110
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0b013e318175916c
Original Articles

Objectives Heavy smoking is likely to increase the risk of relapse after treatment for alcohol dependence. Research on smoking cessation motivation in alcohol-dependent individuals may facilitate the development of individually tailored interventions aimed at abstinence from tobacco.

Methods Two hundred and eighty-seven alcohol-dependent smokers being treated for alcohol dependence were asked to complete measures of importance of abstinence from alcohol, alcohol abstinence self-efficacy, importance of abstinence from tobacco, and tobacco abstinence self-efficacy. Treatment outcome was evaluated 12 weeks after discharge from the hospital in a subsample of 110 individuals.

Results Both importance of abstinence and abstinence self-efficacy differed across types of drug. Likewise, the strength of the correlation between importance and self-efficacy differed across types of drug. Neither importance nor self-efficacy predicted the risk of relapse. Most interestingly, however, tobacco abstinence self-efficacy was positively related to the duration of the first drinking episode after discharge from the hospital.

Conclusions Tobacco abstinence self-efficacy might more accurately predict an individual's future success to cope with the urge to drink than alcohol abstinence self-efficacy.

*Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Münster, Fliednerstr 21, Münster

Department of Psychosomatic and General Internal Medicine, Thibautstrasse 2, Heidelberg, Germany

Reprints: Ralf Demmel, PhD, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Münster, Fliednerstr 21, Münster 48149, Germany (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.