In any recovery program one of the main goals should be to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle free of drugs. Why then, here in the year 2013, do we watch addicts in recovery programs continue to use mind altering chemicals like tobacco and caffeine? To me it doesn't make much sense. Don't we know the serious health repercussions of cigarette smoke as shown to us through the media? Isn't cigarette smoke one of the leading causes of heart disease and a precursor to lung cancer and emphysema?
For some reason we have been led to believe that asking an addict to quit smoking and drinking caffeine along with quitting whichever 'more serious' chemical they are dependent on would be too much for the addict to handle. Even in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in the chapter called "The Family Afterward" members and their families are told not to worry about caffeine and tobacco but to focus on the "more serious ailment" of alcoholism.
I for one do not believe this mode of thinking should be continued. I feel even more strongly about it after reading that continuing to smoke tobacco can actually lead an addict to use again. It has been found that the same receptors in the brain that are stimulated by nicotine are also stimulated by alcohol and other drugs. So, in effect, by continuing to smoke addicts are leaving the door open to relapsing on the 'more serious ailment' of whatever their drug of choice may be.
I believe that in order to truly follow a new healthy lifestyle addicts must free themselves of the crutch that is the cigarette.