AA Members hooked on coffee & cigarettes

July 20, 2008

In trying to kick their alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) attendees may be getting hooked to coffee and cigarettes.

The finding is based on a study, which found that coffee and cigarette use among AA members is greater than among the general U.S. population.

"Drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes are part of the culture of AA, but we knew little about the degree to which this occurred, how much more prevalent these behaviors were compared to the general American population, or why AA participants actually drank coffee or smoked cigarettes," said Peter R. Martin, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and corresponding author for the study.

Martin and his colleagues asked participants in all open AA meetings during the summer of 2007 in Nashville to self-report a variety of information: a "timeline followback" for coffee, cigarette and alcohol consumption, the AA Affiliation Scale, coffee consumption and effects questions, the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence, and the Smoking Effects Questionnaire.

"The most important finding was that not all recovering alcoholics smoke cigarettes while almost all drink coffee," said Martin.

They found that 88.5 percent of AA attendees consumed coffee and approximately 33 percent drank more than four cups per day.

The most common self-reported reasons were because of coffee's stimulatory effects: feeling better, better concentration, greater alertness.

Times of India

Return to the Magazines, Newspapers, etc. Main Page

Return to the A. A. History Main Page

Return to the West Baltimore Group Main Page