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Good to Know: Does Smoking Affect Hangovers?

Good to Know: Does Smoking Affect Hangovers?

smoking, drinking, alcohol, drugs, hangover, health, researchAlcohol and cigarettes are an inseparable combination to many. But if you don’t want to suffer the worst possible hangover it seems best to skip the tobacco.

Researchers asked 113 US students to report their daily drinking and smoking behavior and hangover symptoms for eight weeks, which included having headaches, feeling tired or nauseous and having difficulty concentrating. The researchers estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to control for differences between sexes.

They found that smoking more on heavy drinking days (around six cans of beer or more an hour) affects the presence and severity of hangovers the next day.

“At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers, said author Dr Damaris Rohsenow, from the Centre for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University, when interviewed by BBC News.

“And smoking itself was linked to an increased risk of hangover compared with not smoking at all. That raises the likelihood that there is some direct effect of tobacco smoking on hangovers.”

The reason why smoking affects hangovers is still unclear. The researchers suggest that it has to do with the acute pharmacological effects of nicotine on the nervous system.

“Since alcohol and tobacco both interact with receptors in the brain it is not so surprising that smoking appears to increase the risk of a hangover in people who consume both substances,” said Amanda Sandford, research manager at Action on Smoking and Health.

Source: BBC News
Photo: Kara Allyson/Flickr

Jackson KM, Rohsenow DJ, Piasecki TM, Howland J, & Richardson AE (2013). Role of tobacco smoking in hangover symptoms among university students. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 74 (1), 41-9 PMID: 23200149

Carian Thus

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  • Kevin Kind
    December 9, 2012, 18:12

    Study Shows that Genetics Play an Important Role in Anti-Tobacco Policies

    December 7, 2012 by Staff


    smokers have biological resistance to anti-tobacco policies

    A newly published study from Yale University suggests that genetics play an important role in whether a person responds to tobacco-control policies, finding that people who are genetically predisposed to tobacco addiction were not dissuaded from smoking despite concerted government efforts to curtail tobacco use.

    Despite concerted government efforts to curtail tobacco use, the number of smokers in the United States has remained stable in recent years, rather than declining. The reason: genetics.

    New research from the Yale School of Public Health suggests that individuals’ genetics play an important role in whether they respond to tobacco-control policies. The study appears online in the journal PLOS ONE.

    Smoking dropped sharply after the Surgeon General’s landmark report on the dangers of tobacco was published in 1964, but rates have plateaued during the past two decades despite increasingly stringent measures to persuade people to quit. The study found biological evidence that may help explain why some people respond to anti-smoking inducements, such as higher taxes and the expansion of clean-air laws, and why others do not.

    “We found that for people who are genetically predisposed to tobacco addiction, higher cigarette taxes were not enough to dissuade them from smoking,” said lead researcher Jason M. Fletcher, associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Yale School of Public Health. Fletcher, also a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, examined the interplay between state-level tobacco taxation and a nicotinic receptor gene in a cross-section of U.S. adults.

    The “gene-policy interaction” study, the first of its kind, found that variations in the nicotine receptor were linked to the influence of higher taxes on multiple measures of tobacco use. Individuals with a specific genetic variant decreased their tobacco use by nearly 30 percent when facing high tobacco taxes, while individuals with an alternative genetic variant had no response.

    “This study is an important first step in considering how to further reduce adult smoking rates,” said Fletcher. “We need to understand why existing policies do not work for everyone so that we can develop more effective approaches.”

    The gap in the effectiveness of tobacco-control policies remains poorly understood. The findings suggest that strategies that do not rely on financial or social consequences may be needed to persuade a still-significant segment of the population to quit, notes Fletcher.

    Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths each year, according to the study. Tobacco taxation, meanwhile, has been credited with helping to reduce use by more than 50 percent since the Surgeon General’s report.