Healthy Living

Smoking Can Make Your Hangover Much Worse

man drinking
Image REUTERS/Vincent West

Smoking increases odds of a really bad hangover after heavy drinking, says a new study.

That headache, nausea and fatigue following a session of binge drinking is very common. However, a few seem to be resistant to hangovers. Researchers say that smoking behavior may explain why hangovers are so bad sometimes.

The study found that college students who smoked during the day that ended in heavy drinking had higher odds of a hangover the following morning.

"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 researcher Damaris J. Rohsenow, Ph.D., of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Researchers found that it was smoking during the day, and not while drinking, that affected the hangover. They then accounted for other factors, like drug abuse history, but again the chances of a hangover were decided by one factor - smoking.

The study involved data obtained from 113 college students who reported drinking sessions, smoking behavior and hangover symptoms every day for eight weeks.

Researchers found that students who drank heavily - five or six cans of beer in an hour - and had smoked heavily during the day had more chances of a hangover the next day when compared to students who had drunk heavily but hadn't smoked.

It isn't clear how smoking affects the hangover. Researchers say that both nicotine and alcohol affect the brain receptors responsible for releasing dopamine and this may explain why the two are tied with a bad hangover.

Hangovers don't just cause headache and nausea, but they also reduce attention and reaction time, researchers say. So it is always better to avoid driving if you have a hangover. Researchers add that, though avoiding both alcohol and cigarettes is good for health, people who know that they will indulge in drinking can be better off if they limit smoking during the day.

The study is published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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