A new international study finds 84 percent of people being treated for addiction smoke, compared with 31 percent of people in the general population.
Researchers examined 54 studies of more than 37,000 people in 20 countries who were enrolled in addiction treatment, according to HealthDay.
“When people come into treatment for drugs and alcohol, we are not treating another addiction that has a significant chance of eventually killing them, which is tobacco use,” study author Joseph Guydish of the University of California, San Francisco said in a news release. “At a public health level, this means that our addiction-treatment efforts should address smoking and tobacco use better than they do now.”
The study, published in Addiction, did not include people being treated for addiction in the United States. In a previous study, Guydish found the smoking rate in U.S. addiction treatment centers was 76 percent, compared with less than 18 percent among the general population.
“Every person who enters substance abuse treatment ought to have their tobacco use evaluated and treated,” Guydish said. “If they don’t want to be treated and quit right away, they should have some education to help them think more about quitting. He added, “There are data from a number of studies which strongly suggest that you can improve substance treatment outcomes by addressing smoking among the patients in treatment. That’s what we should be doing.”