5 Reasons Why You Smoke More When You Drink

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in Blog, quit smoking

Dr. Howell

According to a new study published in American Journal of Health Behavior, the more you’re drunk the more likely you are to smoke. And this is true for both heavy and “social” smokers. After a few too many drinks, both type of smokers are more likely to crave and light a cigarette. Why? Below are 5 reasons why you are more likely to smoke more when you’re drunk.

Alcohol doubles the effect of Nicotine. Alcohol is addictive and acts as a stimulant. It stimulates the part of your brain that is responsible for the feeling of “satisfaction”. Alcohol doubles the effect of nicotine in your brain. Portrait-of-an-hispanic-man-ho-45287740Therefore, it also boosts your craving for nicotine. So the more you drink the more you crave for cigarettes.


Drinking acts as a smoking trigger. After a few hours in the bar, you suddenly crave for a cigarette. This is also true to “social” smokers. Why? This has something to do with nicotine. Well, nicotine boosts the link between the act of smoking and the things you do or the cues around you. Sitting in the bar after a few hours makes you remember the last time you had a drink with your friends. It makes you remember how good it was. You remember the cigarette, the drink you had, and the good times you had with your friends. Nicotine boosts these memories. So the next time you sit in the bar drinking, your body remembers nicotine, and before you know it – you’re already lighting up.

Alcohol lowers you sense of inhibition. Alcohol impairs your brain in different ways.  Among its immediate effects are loss of inhibition and light euphoria as alcohol disturbs areas in your brain which control behavior and emotion. This

DID YOU KNOW?

While smoking may boosts your party time thrill, it could also intensify your hangover. People who smoked and drank heavily are more likely to experience more hangover than those who skipped smoking.

explains why some smokers tend to smoke more than their usual consumption when they are drunk.  Even if you’re a non-smoker or a “social” smoker, when you get drunk you are more likely to do things that you don’t usually do – like smoking.

Nicotine gives you a boosts. Smoking speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood pressure that gives you that “sober up” feeling. So some (non-smokers, social and heavy smokers alike) would think that smoking more cigarettes makes them sober. They smoke to “sober up” and allow them to drive, or drink more.


Smoking gives you more fun when drinking. Nicotine gives you the “feel good” sensation. It triggers the part of your brain that controls the “reward” system. So the more you smoke and the more you drink, the more you feel good. But this is not really the case. The “feel good” sensation you feel is mere artificial and it has nothing do to with what you actually feel or what your body really feels.


Smoking while drinking gives you nothing, but the worst hangover. According to a recent report published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, while smoking may boosts your party time thrill, it could also intensify your hangover. People who smoked and drank heavily are more likely to experience more hangover than those who skipped smoking.


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