Home > Characterising smoking and smoking cessation attempts by risk of alcohol dependence: a representative, cross-sectional study of adults in England between 2014-2021.

Garnett, Claire and Oldham, Melissa and Shahab, Lion and Tattan-Birch, Harry and Cox, Sharon (2022) Characterising smoking and smoking cessation attempts by risk of alcohol dependence: a representative, cross-sectional study of adults in England between 2014-2021. The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, Early online, 100418. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2022.100418.

External website: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanepe/article/...


Background: There is a strong shared association between smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. This study aimed to compare smoking prevalence and smoking characteristics in drinkers who were versus were not at risk of alcohol dependence in England.

Methods: We used cross-sectional data from a monthly, nationally representative survey of adults in England (weighted n=144,583) collected between 2014-2021. Smoking and smoking cessation attempt characteristics were regressed on to alcohol dependence (drinkers at risk versus not at risk), adjusting for survey year.

Findings: Past-year smoking prevalence was 63·3% among drinkers at risk of alcohol dependence compared with 18·7% among those not at risk, and 19·2% among non-drinkers. Among past-year smokers, drinkers at risk of alcohol dependence (versus not at risk) smoked more cigarettes per day and were more likely to smoke their first cigarette within 5 (versus >60) minutes of waking.

Interpretation: In a representative sample of adults in England, a graded effect was observed where smoking prevalence increased with level of alcohol consumption. Past-year smokers at risk of alcohol dependence had higher levels of cigarette dependence than drinkers not at risk. Therefore, smokers at risk of alcohol dependence are a high priority group to target to reduce smoking prevalence as part of the NHS long-term plan.

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