Cigarette Smokers Face Host of Problems

Many have psychiatric disorders, abuse other substances, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Nicotine-dependent and mentally ill people account for about 70 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the United States, says a study in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Researchers from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reviewed data collected from interviews with 43,093 adults.

The study found that 28.4 percent of the study subjects were current users of any tobacco product, 24.9 percent were current cigarette smokers, and 12.8 percent were nicotine-dependent. Among the people who were nicotine-dependent, 22.8 percent had an alcohol problem, 21.1 percent had a mood disorder, 22 percent had an anxiety disorder, 31.7 percent had a personality disorder, and 8.2 percent had a drug use disorder.

Nicotine dependence was most common among people with alcohol (34.5 percent) and drug use (52.4 percent) disorders. Nicotine dependence was identified in 29.2 percent of people with a mood disorder, 25.3 percent of those with an anxiety disorder, and 27.3 percent of people with a personality disorder.

"Nicotine-dependent and psychiatrically ill individuals consume about 70 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the United States," the study authors wrote.

"The results of this study highlight the importance of focusing smoking-cessation efforts on individuals who are nicotine-dependent, individuals who have psychiatric disorders, and individuals who have comorbid [related] nicotine dependence and other psychiatric disorders. Further, awareness of industry segmentation strategies can improve smoking-cessation efforts of clinicians and other health professionals among all smokers and especially among the most vulnerable," the study authors wrote.

More information

The American Medical Association has more about tobacco dependence.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives, news release, Nov. 1, 2004

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