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Home > Research Articles > Alcohol use linked to smoking addiction

United Press International

Friday, March 26, 2004

United Press International - March 22, 2004

DURHAM, N.C., Mar 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. researchers have found even small amounts of alcohol can boost the pleasurable effects of nicotine, a key link between smoking and drinking.

In tests on human volunteers, Duke University Medical Center researchers said they found a physiological explanation for the common observation that people smoke more in bars. The findings also explain statistics showing alcoholics tend to smoke more than non-alcoholics, and smokers are more likely to be alcoholics.

The findings, they said, also might help show why those who have quit smoking often relapse while drinking alcohol.

Eighty to 90 percent of alcoholics smoke, the researchers said -- a rate three times that of the general population. Moreover, the prevalence of alcoholism in smokers is 10 times higher than among nonsmokers, and lab studies have revealed a similar connection, demonstrating the rate of smoking increases substantially when people drink.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.