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Smoking and Drug Taking

Can I Quit Smoking if I’m Dependent on Other Drugs?

You certainly can – in fact, it’s a very achievable goal to set.

Whether you use alcohol or take other types of drugs in addition to smoking cigarettes, rest assured that you will still experience the benefits of stopping smoking when you decide to quit.

Whatever your situation, it really is possible to quit smoking! Visit Quitting Methods to find your best quit option.

Cigarettes and Alcohol: The Facts

  • The risk of cancer is significantly increased for people who both smoke and drink alcohol
  • If you’ve recently quit smoking or are trying to quit, drinking alcohol increases your chances of returning to smoking
  • If you’re a smoker who has been alcohol-dependent in the past, smoking even socially, at low levels may greatly increase your chances of returning to alcohol use

It’s clear to see that avoiding alcohol is a bright idea if you’re trying to quit smoking.

However, if you are alcohol-dependent or think you may be dependent on alcohol, DO NOT suddenly stop drinking alcohol. You must speak to your doctor or health care specialist about the safest way to reduce your alcohol intake.

Cigarettes and Cannabis: The Facts

  • It’s common for cannabis smokers to also smoke tobacco, or use tobacco with cannabis
  • Cannabis users who also smoke cigarettes or mix tobacco with cannabis are generally more dependent on cannabis and less likely to quit cannabis, compared to people who use cannabis alone
  • Quitting cannabis and tobacco at the same time may be easier than trying to quit each drug separately
  • If you smoke both cannabis and tobacco, a group program may be very effective. Ask your GP about group programs, or call the NSW Quitline on 13 7848.

You should always speak to your doctor about the best quit smoking method for you.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) may be a good option to help you with nicotine withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking, even if you don’t intend to stop using cannabis.

Read more about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) here

Can I quit smoking if I’m undergoing drug treatment?

If you’re receiving treatment to help you stop or cut down your use of alcohol or other drugs, here’s the good news:

There is no evidence that trying to quit smoking will reduce the effectiveness of your alcohol or drug treatment.

Can I use prescribed quit smoking medication with my drug treatment?

Depending on your drug use and the drug treatment you’re on, you might not be able to use certain prescribed quit smoking medications. This is because:

  • There may be side effects of mixing some quit smoking medications with other drugs or medications.
  • Quit smoking medication may cause complications if you’re cutting down or withdrawing from another drug. For example, taking quit smoking medication Bupropion while withdrawing from heavy alcohol use increases the chance of having a seizure. You may be able to use prescribed medications, but it’s important to discuss your circumstances openly with your doctor.

So what’s the best option if you use drugs or alcohol, or are undergoing drug treatment?

We recommend having an open and honest chat with your doctor about your alcohol or drug use history, to find out which quit smoking method is right for you.

Be Aware

It’s important to never accept prescribed quit smoking medication from anyone other than a doctor.

Use the NSW Quitline to get confidential advice on quitting smoking >

Take a Look

If you use other drugs, you may be able to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to help you quit smoking (under the advice of your doctor or pharmacist).

Find out about Nicotine Replacement Therapy >

Check It Out

www.yourroom.com.au offers a wide range of information about drugs and alcohol, in a relaxing and interactive online environment.

Visit the Your Room website >

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