Left behind

Good news for the country:

Fewer American adults are smoking cigarettes, and those who still smoke have cut back on the number of cigarettes they smoke, but the rate of decline has begun to slow, health experts said on Tuesday.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 19.3 percent of American adults over age 18 — roughly 45 million people — smoked in 2010, down from 20.9 percent in 2005.

Too bad we aren’t quitting with the rest of the country. I ran a quick report of Dawn Farm’s residential discharges for 2010 and more than 86% were smokers at admission. The good news is that more people are trying to quit while in treatment and this is associated with eventual quitting. However, the smoking rate to still way too high.

5 thoughts on “Left behind

  1. Well, here are some of our reasons.

    First, 90+% of Dawn Farm clients smoke. Michigan smoking rates are around 20%. The rest of the state and country are quitting and addicts are getting left behind.

    Second, most of the smokers who enter Dawn Farm want help quitting.

    Third, quitting smoking at the initiation of recovery is associated with better treatment outcomes.

    Fourth, alcohol and drug addicted smokers have a harder time quitting. The additional support available during treatment makes it the ideal time to try to quit.

    Fifth, alcohol and drug addicted smokers experience serious smoking related health problems at higher rates than other smokers. Alcoholic smokers are more likely to die of tobacco related causes than alcohol related causes.

    Sixth, in treatment setting that allow smoking, 20% of non-smokers who enter treatment become smokers during their treatment experience. We create clients who develop a new addiction, are likely to have poorer treatment outcomes and experience serious health problem.


  2. ok ok ok , smoking is bad…. I get it. I’m just a novice and not the expert. But my smoking never caused me the damage that my drinking did. My life got so much better when I quit drinking compared to when I quit smoking. After I was sober a few years, quitting smoking was a piece of cake. The whole notion that you’re not in recovery if you use tobacco makes me uneasy.

    Does addiction to food affect recovery? Is this addressed during treatment. I’m serious and I plan to cover this topic (the controversy of the use of tobacco during recovery) in an upcoming episode. By the way, I’ve always said only the best things about Dawn Farm on the podcast and mention them frequently along with Brighton and Maple Grove.


    1. I’ve never seen any similar research on food.

      I’m with about questioning the recovery of smokers, but there is some dissonance there and I can’t help but wonder if we’ve been a little too accepting of it and a little to willing to think of it as unrelated. I think compulsive use of anything else that harmful would raise eyebrows at meetings. I have no convictions on this, just discomfort and questions.

      I do hold the conviction that treatment centers have a responsibility to help clients quit smoking.

      Thanks for the question and feedback. Keep up the podcasts!


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