Over a period of 12 years, over 725,000 Americans participated in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health where researchers found that people with substance abuse disorders (excluding cannabis use) were 7.5 times more likely to use cigarettes than those without. Those with substance abuse disorders who also smoke are more likely to relapse back in to illicit drug use than those who do not smoke. There’s no clear answer as to the reason- perhaps illicit drug use is used in conjunction with cigarettes and smoking triggers a person’s desire to use.
This information suggests that addiction treatment programs should rethink the way they treat their patients and address patient tobacco use. If tobacco use is increasing in those with substance abuse disorders, the approach to whole-person treatment may be severely lacking.