Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale and craving: Comparing nicotine-dependent individuals with and without comorbid alcohol dependence

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Although several studies have explored craving for certain drugs, there is limited data describing the relationship between alcohol and nicotine craving from a multidimensional perspective among individuals with comorbid nicotine dependence (ND) and alcohol dependence (AD).


We compared a group of male patients diagnosed with ND and AD (n = 160) to a group of male patients diagnosed with ND only (n = 235). Smoking- and drinking-related clinical features were measured, including craving levels and the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (NDSS), which is a multidimensional questionnaire measuring ND. Subsequently, we studied factors that influenced smoking and alcohol craving in the ND and AD group.


Regarding the NDSS, the sum, priority and tolerance scores were significantly higher in the ND and AD group compared with the ND only group (P < 0.000, P < 0.000 and P = 0.001, respectively). In the comorbid group, regression analyses revealed that alcohol craving and Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) scores contributed to nicotine craving (beta coefficient = 0.37, P = 0.005 and beta coefficient = 0.35, P = 0.026, respectively) and these two factors explained 36% of the variance). Nicotine craving appeared to be the only factor that contributed to alcohol craving (beta coefficient = 0.35, P = 0.002), and nicotine craving explained 16% of the variance.


This study may help clarify the clinical relationship between comorbid alcohol and nicotine dependence and help guide the development of effective treatment strategies for ND and AD patients.

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