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Study connects drinking and smoking habits among women

Photo from UB's Research Institute on Addictions

Women who smoke have more trouble quitting drinking and a lot more trouble quitting both than men, according to a new study from UB's Research Institute on Addictions.

New research from Institute Deputy Director Kimberly Walitzer is based on 21,000 people who were treated in 253 outpatient clinics across the state between 2005 and 2007. 

She says the records used had everything except names and addresses of the patients, but all of the clinical information. Walitzer says 62 percent of women in treatment smoke while fewer than 20 percent of women in the general population smoke.
"Women who smoke had even stronger criminal justice involvement differences than women who do not smoke and more polysubstance abuse differences than women who do not smoke. The difference in women was more pronounced than the difference in men," Walitzer said. 

Walitzer says it's enough of an issue that clinics in New York State now check samples for evidence of smoking as well as alcohol because it's such a problem in treatment.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.