Typically when one walks into an AA meeting they first must walk through a thick cloud of cigarette smoke to get to the door. Research has shown that almost 60 percent of alcoholics in recovery smoke. Recently it has come to light that smoking cigarettes may increase recovering alcoholics chances of relapse.
The majority of the 60 percent of recovering alcoholics who smoke attested to considering themselves to be very much so dependent on nicotine. Many think that cigarettes help them to remain abstinent, that smoking eases the depression mood swings and anxiety associated with cravings for alcohol, but the subsequent studies are showing that smoking may actually increase the risk of relapsing on alcohol. Alcoholics who continue to smoke may be more likely to pick up a drink than the recovering alcoholics who don’t smoke. It’s estimated that smokers are twice as likely to end up drinking again than nonsmokers are.
Some physicians believe that an individuals alcohol problem and their nicotine addiction should be treated together at the same time. Interestingly enough, a medication called Chantix prescribed to help people quit smoking may also possess properties that can aide alcoholics in discontinuing their drinking habit. The thought is that there may be a link between how the brain reacts to both nicotine and alcohol alike.
All points considered, smoking in any case is clearly detrimental to ones health, but in AA there is a long lived tradition of drinking lots of strong coffee and smoking cigarettes. There is a social aspect involved that is somewhat similar to the social aspect of drinking at a bar. You never know, the first time an alcoholic fresh into recovery may speak to somebody at a meeting may be when they approach them to ask for a light. That particular conversation could be a crucial, pivotal turning point for that person. Ultimately, it will be a long time before cigarettes are banished from the rooms of AA.