The Special Problem of Tobacco Abstinence
The original Panel did NOT require tobacco abstinence as part of the conditions for being “in recovery.” Frankly, this was a purely political decision—not wanting to offend or ostracize the many individuals who smoke but think of themselves as being “in recovery.”
Reaction. Although there is absolutely no health justiﬁcation for this position, the Panel recognized it has neither the power nor the wish to rescind recovery status from those who are otherwise in recovery but for their tobacco dependence. At the same time, within the recovery community, tobacco dependence remains a serious and even deadly health issue. Therefore, the Panel unanimously agreed that this is a clinical concern that warrants the ﬁeld’s attention and response.