This secondary analysis examined whether smoking reduction among young adults participating in a Facebook-based smoking cessation intervention study was associated with corresponding reductions in alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms.
Participants were young adults who smoked and engaged in heavy episodic drinking (HED). Alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C, days of HED), depressive symptoms (PHQ-2), and past-month cigarettes per day (CPD) were self-reported at baseline and 12 months (N = 150). Linear regression estimated the relationship between the mean change in CPD and mean changes in alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms.
CPD, alcohol consumption, and depressive symptoms decreased significantly between baseline and 12 months. The adjusted mean reduction in CPD was significantly associated with mean reductions in AUDIT-C (Beta [β] = 0.09, 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 0.04-0.14), days of HED (β = 0.17, 95 % CI = 0.04-0.29) and PHQ-2 (β = 0.05, 95 % CI = 0.01-0.08). Smoking abstinence (n = 48) was associated with a significantly larger mean reduction in AUDIT-C compared to a ≥50 % reduction (n = 45) (-2.9 vs -1.7 points, p = 0.03) or <50 % reduction in CPD (n = 57) (-2.9 vs -1.1 points, p < 0.01). The mean reduction in AUDIT-C did not differ between a ≥50 % reduction and <50 % reduction in CPD (-1.7 vs.-1.1 points, p = 0.18). Mean reductions in days of HED and the PHQ-2 did not differ according to the level of reduction in CPD.
Smoking reduction was associated with reductions in alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms. Reductions appeared to be greater for those who achieved abstinence compared to a reduction in smoking.

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