Cigarettes and Alcohol Result in Severe Hangovers

Posted on December 06 2012

Most people of legal age will agree that hangovers are the worst. However, if you are a smoker you may be suffering worse hangovers than non-smokers. A new study shows that smoking actually makes hangovers worse than they actually should be. A pounding headache and constant nausea is easily lessened by not picking up a cigarette. This can be easier said than done, even for those who smoke only when they drink, as the need to smoke actually increases when drinking.  People tend to smoke when they drink because it helps counteract the groggy, depressant effects of the alcohol. In addition, both alcohol and cigarettes release that “feel good” chemical dopamine into the brain, making for a pleasant time. Tobacco contains a chemical called acetaldehyde, which is a major cause of hangovers. Additionally, this chemical is also formed in the body’s tissues when a person drinks alcohol. The combination of smoking and alcohol pumps so much acetaldehyde into the body that it exacerbates what could be an easy to handle hangover. The study followed college students who considered themselves heavy or binge drinkers. For the purpose of the study a heavy drinker was classified as a person who ingests 5-6 beers in an hour. Most heavy drinkers who did not smoke were easily able to handle whatever hangover effect that they had. Binge drinkers tended to have significantly more serious hangovers, regardless of whether they smoked as hangovers are a symptom of the unsafe drinking habit. However, for those who smoked, drank heavily, or binge drank, the combination proved to produce the most excruciating hangovers. Researchers warn that binge drinking in itself is highly dangerous and adding smoking to the mix increases the risk for a number of health complications. Drinking heavily isn’t a great habit either as it can lead to addiction and is not considered social drinking, which is defined as a couple drinks while out with friends. Most importantly, the dopamine rush provided by the combination of alcohol and cigarettes can steep into a deep low once the effects of the drinking, and smoking wear off. This alone can make a person feel horrible and sick. The take away is to practice safe drinking habits, lessen up or put down the cigarettes all together, and be conscious of the effects that happen to your body as you have fun with friends. You will be thankful you did in the morning. Sources: WebMD - Time Health & Family - Times of India -


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