Why people want to smoke when they drink

Have you ever wondered why some people want to smoke when they drink? Most people have no problem having a beer and a cigarette, or a bottle of scotch and a cigar. Some people actually only smoke after they have consumed alcohol. There has been research done by medical professionals that have the reasoning behind these actions.

First off, alcohol tends to release levels of dopamine into the brain that gives you that feeling of bliss. Nicotine does the opposite. It increases the level of glucocorticoids in the body, which is a fancy term for saying it actually reduces your dopamine. Opposites are attracting in this situation, leaving your stress levels at a commonplace, and your mind feeling ordinary.

Nicotine plays its role, attempting to make you feel less intoxicated. This sends signals to your brain and body, making it believe it can last longer. This teeter-totter effect will keep your body wanting more drinks, and cigarettes for longer. Merry-go-round at its finest.

Why do people crave nicotine? Besides reduced stress, it causes them to feel more control of their actions. The nicotine dampens the brain and responses to alcohol, meaning the only way to still reach that “intoxicated” feeling is actually by drinking even MORE than you normally would have! This will keep you up longer, potentially causing drowsy driving, or foolish decisions.

Here’s the proof: there was an interesting test done by the professors at Baylor university, using rats to prove that nicotine increases the desire for alcohol. The first case was to offer both rats alcohol, both groups rejected the substance. Then, the second case gave the experimental group nicotine while the control group did not receive any. After that, alcohol was offered to both groups, again. The results showed that the rats who received nicotine were willing to consume the alcohol, but the control group—the rats who didn’t receive nicotine—did not consume any of the alcohol.

Oddly enough, they found that even after 15 hours of having nicotine, the rats were STILL interested in the alcohol more than the non-nicotine rats. Proving there could be a lasting effect.

You may have heard this before, smoking as a whole is extremely dangerous in terms of health for your body. It truly is, and there is severe consequences if you get in trouble with the law. We’re not here to be your mother, but we do want to provide you with some tips that might help you, or loved ones that have taking drinking and smoking a little over board. If you know someone trying to quit entirely, show them these useful tips. Who knows, it could save a life!

Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey:

  • Build a quit plan – where you dedicate that smoking time to something of value and importance to you.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy – It’s okay to want nicotine in your body, but it doesn’t mean you need to smoke. The smoke you are inhaling is destroying your insides. Find ways around it, and eventually quit. Tobacco is what kills you.
  • Medicine – There are plenty of medicines out there that help quit smoking, but you need to be prescribed these forms of medication by your doctor. Don’t be afraid to give your doctor a call for help.

Tips to Quit Drinking:

  • Change your attitude about quitting – this could be the biggest change you make in your entire life. Focus on the benefits of the change, instead of what you’re leaving behind. You’re reading this for a reason. You want to make a change.
  • Get rid of the need to have alcohol around – people respect ambition. Your friends and family will be proud you want to make a change, and hey. You’re not a bad person for offering them water, tea, or lemonade!
  • Reduce the situations in which you feel pressured to drink alcohol
  • Create a sober wallet – listen, every time you want a drink. Put the amount of money it costs into the new wallet. Making change is all about seeing progress, and seeing the dollar bills add up will do nothing but motivate you to keep it moving.
  • Remember why you want to quit in the first place – what makes you want to change? To be healthier? To enjoy more meaningful relationships? No one needs to give you reasons, you should have your own.

Guest Post Submitted by Jay Tiftickjian, Esq. from the Tiftickjian Law Firm in Denver, Colorado.

Get that Breathalyzer you’ve always wanted.
Sign up today for weekly tip and tricks for drinking smart. Get a full PDF Copy of our BAC Chart.