Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: The recent World Health Organization
(WHO)-sponsored survey of serious mental disorders reported 12-month prevalence
rates of substance use disorders ranging from 0.1% to 6.4% across locales.1 Although not explicitly stated, these rates appear
to exclude nicotine dependence. For example, the US 12-month prevalence rate
of nicotine dependence alone ranges from 7.0% to 9.0%,2,3 yet
the US 12-month prevalence rate of serious substance abuse/dependence in the
WHO survey is 3.8%. Furthermore, since the current 12-month prevalence rate
of tobacco use in several of the non-US countries surveyed by the WHO is 1.5
times the rates reported in the United States,4 12-month
prevalence rates of nicotine dependence in non-US countries are likely to
be 10.0% or more.
Hughes JR. Nicotine Dependence and WHO Mental Health Surveys. JAMA. 2004;292(9):1021-1022. doi:10.1001/jama.292.9.1021-c