Alcohol and smoking are often seen together when people are out socializing or just sitting at home. Tobacco and alcohol happen to be two of the most deadly drugs in the United States but restriction of use does not necessarily mean people would cut back on either drinking or smoking. New laws are being passed to restrict smoking in public spaces so there may be hope that people can at least give up smoking while also drinking.
Smoking by the Numbers
While the number of Americans who smoke is going down, experts say the number of light smokers, or people who only smoke socially, is going up. More people are choosing to light up when drinking. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine looked at how to discourage use of cigarettes while drinking alcohol. Per capita alcohol consumption rates were looked at over a nearly 30 year span as well as state prices per pack of cigarettes, and smoke-free policies. Increase taxes on cigarettes seemed to be one of the best ways to decrease overall alcohol consumption. What also helped is strengthening smoke-free policies.
During the 30 year span of the study, it was determined increases in state cigarette prices and restrictions on indoor smoking led to decreases in state per capita alcohol consumption. A 20-percent increase in cigarette prices would lead to a two-percent decrease in per capita beer consumption. Adoption of a statewide ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, and worksites, compared with no restrictions, would reduce per capita beer consumption by four percent and spirit consumption by 11 percent.
Why People Do It
The reason so many people love to smoke when drinking is not coincidental. Scientifically, tobacco can enhance the subjective effects of alcohol and help someone feel more of a buzz or high while drinking. Another reason people love to do it is that nicotine can boost a person’s interest in alcohol which puts a social smoker in a never-ending pattern of craving both drugs and can end up with dual addiction. This is a cycle which can be hard for an individual to overcome but there are smoking cessation programs as well as treatment centers that focus on substance abuse, nicotine, and other disorders which can be treated with the help of professional staff who are able to recognize what the individual needs and provide help. The time is never too late to seek help for addiction to either nicotine, alcohol, or both.
Cypress Lakes offers a place to explore the possibilities of what it means to be healthy and whole. Our mind, body, spirit focus is intentional and all about you. We will help you grow and focus on the areas you need help in to make your recovery the best it can be. Call us to find out how we can help you get started on the journey. 877-938-1577