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.
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.
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.
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.