It’s no secret that alcohol and tobacco are two of the leading causes of preventable death in the US. Over consumption of either can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. That’s why these substances not only make a deadly combination, but sadly, are also often used together. Research shows that people who smoke have a higher chance of drinking alcohol, and people who drink alcohol are also much more likely to smoke.
Have you ever heard someone say, as they exhale cigarette smoke, that they are a social smoker? Essentially, they are saying that they only smoke when they are drinking alcohol or around other smokers. Even though they may not be addicted to or abusing either substance, it just goes to show you that the two are inextricably connected.
Research is clearly showing that alcohol and tobacco addiction often go hand-in-hand. People addicted to alcohol are three times more likely to be smokers, and those addicted to tobacco are four times more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol. Why does this correlation matter? For one, it’s important to be aware of this relationship because of its double impact on your health, but it’s also very important if you are on the road to recovering from alcohol addiction.
Know The Facts
Smoking is Deadly:
Quitting and Relapse:
Some people in recovery avoid quitting smoking because they are concerned about relapse. In fact, even experts feel that quitting smoking could make sobriety harder to achieve and sustain. However, recent studies also show that smoking cessation can actually help support sobriety, especially if you’ve already been sober for a while. A lot of this depends on where you are in your recovery when you make the choice to end your tobacco use.
Strong Support System:
Stress In Your Life:
Healthy Body Weight:
When To Quit
For many people, tackling one addiction is enough to handle, let alone trying to conquer two. It’s not uncommon for people, even professionals, to believe that trying to quit smoking alongside alcohol addiction could be a roadblock to recovery. However, many studies show that quitting smoking might actually improve your ability to sustain your recovery. This is because when you decide to quit tobacco or alcohol, you are addressing your behaviors associated with addiction. If you’re digging deep into the root cause of one, why not the other?
Day one of alcohol recovery might not be the best day to stop smoking, but it’s a good day to start thinking about it — and planning for it. If you’ve checked into a recovery center or are seeing a professional for therapy, talk to them about your decision to quit, and ask them to help you come up with a long-term strategy. Maybe it’s cutting back, maybe it’s using the patch, or maybe it’s quitting cold turkey. The important thing is that you approach quitting smoking like you have quitting drinking — one day at a time. What inspired you to stop drinking? What’s your strategy for doing so? That same plan, which can include deepening your spirituality, seeking out treatment, taking individual and group therapy, and reconnecting with loved ones, can also help you quit smoking.
Learning How To Cope
Hang out at nonsmoking establishments, so you won’t be around the sight or smell of smoking.
NOW Is the Time To Quit
The right time to quit smoking during recovery is up to you, but the science shows that ending your relationship with tobacco will help sustain your recovery from alcohol. If you are really dedicated to a life without drinking — a better, healthier, sober life — then giving up cigarettes is a great way to lock in your commitment. Just remember to be compassionate, and most importantly, honest with yourself.