Tobacco Prevention Program Newsletter, Summer 2011
By Paul Zemann
Dutch Shisler Sobering Center and Recovery Centers of King County (RCKC) Detox to go tobacco free
In an effort to support consumers' desire to quit smoking and to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, both the Dutch Shisler Sobering Center and RCKC Detox will be going tobacco free on July 1, 2011.
Extensive research supports the popular observation that "smokers drink and drinkers smoke." Moreover, the heaviest alcohol consumers are also the heaviest consumers of tobacco. National Institute on Drug Abuse research studies have found that craving for nicotine appears to be linked to increased craving for alcohol and other illicit drugs among drug abusers who also smoke tobacco. Concurrent use of these drugs poses a significant public health threat. A survey of persons treated for alcoholism and other drug addictions revealed that 222 of 845 subjects had died over a 12-year period; one-third of these deaths were attributed to alcohol-related causes, while more than one-half of the deaths were related to smoking.
During recent visits to the Sobering and Detox centers, counselors have reported that many or most consumers there ask for help in quitting smoking. The staff at those sites will be taking a comprehensive and empathetic approach to provide the best possible support for consumers there. They will be working with referring agencies and Public Health to provide not only counseling support, but nicotine replacement therapy (the patch or gum) to reduce nicotine withdrawal and help consumers while they are there to become nicotine and alcohol free.
Public Health -- Seattle & King County would like to commend these sites for providing national leadership in this important move for the health and recovery of their consumers.