The Timing of Alcohol and Smoking Cessation (TASC) Study is a randomized controlled trial that examines the optimal timing of intervention for nicotine dependence in patients with alcohol use disorders. A cross-sectional analysis of baseline characteristics of study participants was used to identify characteristics associated with readiness of patients in intensive treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence to quit smoking. Baseline characteristics of 499 subjects enrolled in the TASC trial were analysed. Readiness to quit was assessed by two self-rated measures: being in the preparation/ action stages of change and scoring at least an 8 on the Contemplation Ladder. Univariate analyses showed a higher prevalence of African-Americans and other minorities than Caucasian, among participants planning to quit in the next month (p = 0.005). There were no other differences between groups. Participants in the preparation/ action action stages of change experienced significantly lower rates of current (p = 0.011) and past (p = 0.014) major depressive disorder and displayed significantly less current depressive symptoms on the Beck Depression Inventory (p = 0.008). Patients with Contemplation Ladder ratings between 8 and 10 showed similar results. Logistic regression models consistently confirmed that the degree of depression was negatively associated with the intention to quit, but different models suggested that increasing age, shorter duration of smoking history, race other than white, and a greater number of past quit attempts were positively associated with readiness to quit. Among patients in intensive treatment for alcohol use disorders who smoke, a history of depressive disorder and depressive symptoms predict less interest in quitting smoking.