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Can you smoke cigarettes in rehab?

Recovery Centers of America

Authored by Recovery Centers of America

When it comes to entering inpatient rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, there’s a lot running through your mind: What should I bring to rehab? What is inpatient rehab like? When can my family visit me in rehab?

Another important concern is: Can you smoke cigarettes in rehab?

There is no nationwide law when it comes to smoking in inpatient drug & alcohol rehab facilities, however there are state laws that apply, which means the rules differ depending on the location of the addiction treatment center.

Research found that 60% of all United States treatment centers completely banned smoking in their facilities. And while no reputable rehab center would encourage smoking cigarettes, many are realistic when it comes to this subject. Many patients use cigarettes as a comforting way to relieve their tension. For some, stopping smoking is a battle to fight after addiction treatment: To get on the road to recovery first, and then tackle smoking.

Smoking Cigarettes in New York Rehabs

One state where smoking is banned in addiction treatment: New York. Smoking cigarettes in New York rehabs is not allowed. In 2008, publicly-funded drug and alcohol rehab centers were banned from allowing smoking in hopes to decrease addictive behaviors. This ban didn’t go according to plan. About 41% of smokers didn’t smoke during their time in treatment; however, only a small percentage actually stayed tobacco-free after they left treatment.

Considering a drug and alcohol addiction rehab in New Jersey or another state is an option for New York residents looking to smoke cigarettes or use other nicotine products while in an inpatient rehab facility for drug or alcohol addiction.

More on Nicotine Use and Addiction Treatment

There is some evidence that banning tobacco can negatively impact recovery. One study found that implementing tobacco bans resulted in a higher risk of a person dropping out of treatment. A treatment facility in Ohio found this out for themselves: before they implemented a tobacco-free policy (for patients and staff), their treatment completion rate was 70%. After the ban was put into effect, the percentage dropped to 42%.

“Following the implementation of the new policy, clients were significantly less likely to complete treatment than they were prior to the adoption of tobacco-free policies,” said Thomas Gregoire, co-author of the study and associate professor of social work at Ohio State University.

People considering inpatient treatment for drug or alcohol addiction face enough tough choices, whether or not to also quit smoking doesn’t have to be one. That’s why RCA allows cigarettes and other nicotine products at all of our facilities, including at Raritan Bay in New Jersey, just a short driving distance from New York.

If You Choose to Stop Smoking in Rehab

For those who choose to stop smoking or discontinue other nicotine products while inside inpatient rehab for drug & alcohol addiction, RCA offers help. At our inpatient facilities we offer patient specific solutions for smoking cessation such as nicotine patches and other medical smoking cessation aids. We also offer rehab patients looking to quit smoking helpful education about smoking cessation to promote sustainable habit change. With our full continuum of care, beginning in inpatient drug & alcohol rehab, transitioning to outpatient rehab, and ending with our Alumni Association, you will have support every step of the way.

Authored by

Recovery Centers of America

Recovery Centers of America



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