Quitting Smoking? Cut Back on Drinking to Make it Easier

Quitting Smoking? Cut Back on Drinking to Make it Easier

Heavy drinking can make you metabolize nicotine faster.

Not everyone who smokes tobacco drinks alcohol. For many though, the two habits co-exist and sitting down to have a beer, some wine or spirits can mean lighting up. If you’re trying to quit smoking however, you may find that leaving the alcohol behind can help.

Researchers from Oregon State University looked at the effects of heavy drinking on tobacco use. It was found that heavy drinking of alcohol can raise your ability to process nicotine more quickly. The result is more smoking.

And some people simply naturally metabolize nicotine at faster rates than others. This could be why it may be harder for you to quit, when a friend finds it rather easy. By slowing down your nicotine metabolism rate, you can get an edge on quitting.

Researchers studied men who drank an average of about 29 drinks a week. When this was reduced this to 7 drinks per week, their nicotine metabolite rate also dropped.

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“It takes a lot of determination to quit smoking, often several attempts,” said Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and the study’s lead author. “This research suggests that drinking is changing the nicotine metabolism as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio, and that daily smoking and heavy drinking may best be treated together.”

“What’s really interesting is that the nicotine metabolite ratio is clinically useful,” Dermody said. “People with a higher ratio have a harder time quitting smoking cold turkey. They have are also less likely to successfully quit using nicotine replacement therapy products.”

The study was published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Use of both alcohol and cigarettes is widespread, with nearly 1 in 5 adults using both, the study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, states. For tips on quitting, click here.

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