Objectives: Tobacco smoking and gambling disorder (GD) often co-occur. However, few studies have assessed the extent to which cigarette smoking may serve to classify and/or better define GD behaviour profiles.
Methods: Among a large sample of n = 3,652 consecutive treatment-seeking patients with GD (91% men). Smokers were compared to non-smokers across different sociodemographic, clinical, psychopathological and personality variables. The effect sizes for the means and the proportion differences between the groups were estimated. An evaluation of the smoking changes over the last 15 years was also performed.
Results: From the total sample, 62.4% of gamblers reported tobacco use. A decreasing linear trend in tobacco use was observed within the studied period, women having a more irregular pattern. The use of tobacco was linked to the use of alcohol and other illegal drugs. Gamblers who smoke, as compared to those who don't, presented lower education levels, lower social position indexes and active employment. They were younger, with an earlier age of onset, shorter duration of the gambling behavior, higher GD severity, more psychological symptoms, higher scores in novelty seeking and lower scores in reward dependence, self-directedness and self-transcendence.
Conclusions: Gamblers seeking treatment who smoke display particular social, clinical, psychological, temperamental and character features different from non-smoking gamblers, suggesting that the presence or absence of comorbid smoking condition in GD should always be considered when developing an optimal treatment, as gamblers who smoke might need treatment strategies different from non-smoking gamblers.
Keywords: Gambling; Personality; Psychopathology; Smoking habit; Tobacco; Treatment-seekers.