This population-based, retrospective cohort study examined the association of tobacco use and diagnosis of a depressive disorder (DD) and suicide attempts (SA) before and after discharge from an inpatient addiction program (IAP). All 813 Olmsted County, Minnesota residents (537 males, 276 females) admitted for the first time to the IAP for treatment of alcoholism during the period 1972–1983 were studied. Tobacco use status at admission was classified as ever (current or former use) (85.5%), never (8.6%), or missing (5.9%). Subjects were followed through 1994. Current or former use of tobacco was markedly lower among those with a prior diagnosis of DD than those without this diagnosis (73.6% vs. 89.3%>, p < 0.001). Although females were more likely to have a diagnosis of DD and were less likely to have ever used tobacco than males, gender did not explain the relationship between tobacco use and DD. Tobacco use status was unrelated to a DD diagnosis after discharge from the IAP and was not associated with SA.