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UTHealth: Alcohol consumption may be in response to smoking cessation
Date:2/13/2013

HOUSTON (Feb.12, 2013) New findings by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health may help identify situations in which smokers who are trying to quit are at a higher risk of relapse.

More than 1,200 people die in the United States every day from smoking-related illnesses. This is equivalent to three airplanes loaded with passengers crashing everyday in America. Smoking-related illnesses are the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the country, killing more Americans than drugs, homicides, suicides, accidents, and fires combined.

Previous studies have indicated that alcohol use can increase smoking and smoking urges. However, no studies have examined the moment-to-moment relation between smoking urges and alcohol use during a smoking cessation attempt.

Michael Businelle, Ph.D., assistant professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth, and colleagues collected data from 302 female participants between the ages of 18 and 70 who were attempting smoking cessation in Seattle between 1999 and 2002. Businelle and colleagues exclusively focused their study on smoking cessation in women because women have greater difficulty with quitting as compared to men.

Participants recorded their individual smoking urges at random time points throughout the day as cued by hand held computers. Participants also completed temptation assessments each time they felt an urge to smoke.

Overall, subjects reported higher and more volatile smoking urges on days when alcohol was consumed. "Interestingly, these higher, more volatile smoking urges were reported before the individual actually began drinking, suggesting that alcohol consumption may have been in response to smoking urges rather than vice versa" Businelle said. While smoking urge volatility increased following alcohol consumption, the smoking urge trajectory did not.

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Contact: Stephanie Logue
stephanie.d.logue@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3307
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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