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Smoking a Factor in Hangovers?

By December 5, 2012

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Alcohol drinkers who smoke heavily on the same day they drink heavily are more likely to experience a hangover the next day than those who do not smoke. Those hangover symptoms are likely to be more intense depending on how much you smoked during the day, researchers have found.

At the same number of drinks, drinkers who smoked more were likely to have more severe hangovers.

A Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University study of 113 college students examined the effect smoking had on hangover symptoms. The study participants were controlled for other factors, such as past-year drug use.

Even when the participants were controlled for age first smoked regularly, frequency of drug use, type of drug involvement, or smoking status, the results of the study were the same: heavy smoking caused more severe hangover symptoms.

Hangovers Can Be a Safety Hazard

The researchers are not sure why the combination of nicotine and alcohol causes more intense symptoms, but they suspect it is related to how both drugs release dopamine in the brain.

Researcher Damaris J. Rohsenow, Ph.D. said the danger in more severe hangovers lies with how a hangover a affect your attention and reaction time.

He suggested that those with a bad hangover might not want to drive or work in safety sensitive occupations while experiencing hangover symptoms.

Source: Jackson, KM, et al. "Role of Tobacco Smoking in Hangover Symptoms Among University Students." Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs January 2013.

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