Factors associated with concurrent tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol consumption within a socioeconomically disadvantaged Australian sample

Laura Twyman, Billie Bonevski, Christine Paul, Jamie Bryant, Robert West, Mohammad Siahpush, Catherine D'Este, Christopher Oldmeadow, Kerrin Palazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption occur more frequently in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Little is known about the sociodemographic and psychosocial factors associated with use of alcohol and tobacco in disadvantaged groups in comparison to low-risk users. Objectives: This study aimed to compare the characteristics of low-risk users with: disadvantaged smokers only; disadvantaged heavy drinkers only; and disadvantaged concurrent smokers and heavy drinkers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of socioeconomically disadvantaged adult clients attending a community welfare agency assessed tobacco use, alcohol use, demographic, and psychosocial variables. Multivariable analysis using multinomial logistic regression was carried out. Results: The sample consisted of 835 participants; 40% (n = 331) were concurrent users, 31% were smokers only (n = 252), 11% were heavy drinkers only (n = 93), and 18% were low-risk users (n = 149). Compared with those who neither smoked nor consumed alcohol heavily, concurrent users were more likely to be younger, have only some contact with family, have more friends and family who were smokers, have no fixed home address, live alone, and have higher levels of financial stress. Most of these factors were shared by individuals who were smokers only. Factors associated with heavy drinkers only were frequent contact with family and having more friends and family who were smokers. Conclusion: Among those Australians who suffer severe economic hardship, being a concurrent smoker and heavy drinker appears to be associated with more isolated living conditions and financial stress but some contact with family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-470
Number of pages12
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 20 2016


  • Alcohol
  • concurrent use
  • disadvantage
  • heavy drinking
  • smoking
  • tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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