Cutting cigarette smoking may also help decrease drug dependence in people who are addicted to opioids, suggests a study conducted by the Bridge Engagement Centre in Ottawa, Canada.
This study, which was published in BMJ Open, used data from earlier research involving 865 homeless people in Ottawa – a population particularly vulnerable to smoking and drug addiction. According to the earlier research, 96 percent of people in the study were smokers, compared to just 9 percent of the general population of Ottawa.
For the latest study, dubbed Participatory Research in Ottawa: Management and Point-of-Care for Tobacco Dependence (PROMPT), the researchers followed 80 homeless people for six months and provided peer support and life-skills workshops, regular counselling with a mental health professional, and free nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patch, gum, or inhaler). By the end of the study, participants' daily cigarette use fell from an average of 20 cigarettes per day to an average of nine per day, and opioid use decreased 18.8 percent.