Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Tobacco Addiction: Clinical and Social Characteristics in a Large Sample of Tobacco Smokers clinical and social characteristic in a large sample of tobacco smoker

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Alessio Congiu Roberta Vesentini Francesca Locatelli Lorenzo Zamboni Rosaria Giordano Silvia Carli Isabella Barbon Rebecca Casari Silvia Melchiori Simone Campagnari Tommaso Bovo Francesca Fusina Giuseppe Verlato Fabio Lugoboni


Background: Several scientific studies indicate that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for the development of pathological addiction, including Tobacco Use Disorder (TUD). Despite various hypotheses proposed to explain the reasons for this frequent comorbidity, the limited amount of research aimed at describing the characteristics of this population restricts our understanding of the nature of this relationship. Aims: The purpose of our descriptive and retrospective study is to examine the differences between a group of tobacco users with suspected ADHD and those without it, with respect to socio-demographic characteristics, factors related to tobacco addiction, alcohol consumption, past and current use of illicit substances, and comorbid psychiatric symptoms. Methods: A total of 1166 smokers who were referred to the Addiction Medicine Unit of the University Hospital in Verona between 2015 and 2021 were selected. Users for whom it was not possible to obtain all the necessary information were excluded from the sample. The remaining participants were divided into two groups based on their scores on an ADHD screening test. The group that scored negatively on the screening test (n = 964) was then compared to the group that scored positively on the same test (n = 114). Results: Statistically significant differences emerged between the two groups. Specifically, users in the positive group were found to be more likely to have the marital statuses of "Single" and "Separated/Divorced," as well as the occupational statuses of "Unemployed," "Student," "Teacher," "Housework," "Casual Worker," "Worker," and "Artisan/Trader." They also exhibited a higher level of nicotine addiction and reported an increase in smoking in the last 12 months. Furthermore, they had a history of both previous and current use of illicit substances and higher overall levels of anxious and depressive symptoms, regardless of gender. Conclusion: Several factors related to sociodemographic characteristics, smoking behavior, past and current use of illicit substances, and current levels of anxiety and depression could potentially mediate the relationship between ADHD and TUD. Clinicians involved in smoking cessation treatments should take comorbidity with adult ADHD into consideration.

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CONGIU, Alessio et al. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Tobacco Addiction: Clinical and Social Characteristics in a Large Sample of Tobacco Smokers. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 10, oct. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 11 dec. 2023. doi:
Research Articles


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