The American Psychopathological Association (APPA) Annual Conference provides a unique opportunity for mental health specialists to learn about, discuss, and debate cutting edge issues in the topic area (http://www.appassn.org/).
Last year in March 2015, I had the pleasure of supporting David Ortiz, a Lehman College Social Work student, present his research at the American Psychopathological Association Conference. David Ortiz, along with other research assistants, examined racial differences in cigarette smoking status and willingness to participate in substance use treatment. Cigarette use is extremely common among adult drug users and is often overlooked – with efforts instead being focused on reducing the use of illicit drugs. Smoking cigarettes has been found to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality and may reduce the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment. After analyzing the data, we found that racial differences in smoking rates were similar to those reported in the literature, such that black young adults are less likely to report smoking cigarettes when compared to white young adults. However, black young adults were more willing to participate in substance use treatment, and willingness increased with cigarette use. Because May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, I wanted to share what research our team has discovered about cigarette users.