Have you ever wondered why an alcoholic beverage makes you crave a cigarette?
You’re not the only one. 70% of U.S. drinkers also smoke. And almost three-quarters of alcoholics smoke over a pack of cigarettes every day.
Duke University Medical Center research revealed alcohol boosts the pleasing effects of nicotine. That’s why people enjoy smoking when drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Most people understand that tobacco smoking can cause cancer. Cigarette smoking contributes to over 480,000 deaths every year.
While the effects of tobacco are an obvious health risk, alcohol is confusing. Not every drink is dangerous in the same way each cigarette is.
The moderate use of alcohol can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But, drink more and it increases your chances for cancer.
Keep reading to learn the dangers of combining alcohol and tobacco.
Risks of Alcohol Use
The moderate use of alcohol can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But, when you drink more it increases your chances for cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define moderate drinking as 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men per day.
Alcohol can increase the risk of cancer. It can cause inflammation in the liver and pancreas. Inflammation raises the chance of cancer in those organs.
Alcohol also produces acetaldehyde in the body. This substance prevents cells from repairing DNA damage.
There’s no doubt that excessive drinking is a cancer-causing behavior.
Effects of Tobacco
Every cigarette causes damage to your body. A single cigarette can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Cigarettes increase blood pressure. Long-term high blood pressure adds to the risk of cancer.
Each cigarette starts a chemical chain reaction that results in carcinogenic compounds. The poisons in cigarette smoke weaken the immune system and damage DNA.
Smoking can both cause cancer, and damage cells so your body can’t fight it.
Lung cancer isn’t the only cancer smoking causes. The bloodstream absorbs the compounds from smoke and spreads them throughout the body.
Short-term Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Tobacco
Cigarettes and alcohol together create more risks than using either substance alone.
The primary risk is that alcohol is a depressant and tobacco is a stimulant. The nicotine in tobacco offsets the sedative aspects of alcohol.
If you smoke while drinking you may not realize how much alcohol affects your body. Poor assessment of inebriation leads to poor judgment and bad choices.
For example, you may continue to drink because you don’t feel drunk. Or, you might choose to drive your car.
Long-Term Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Tobacco
Mixing smoking and alcohol increases cancer in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and colon. It’s no surprise that 80% of men and 65% of women with throat and mouth cancer combine smoking and drinking habits.
Studies suggest alcohol dissolves cigarette chemicals while they’re in the throat. That could trap carcinogens in the throat’s sensitive tissues.
Plus, smoking and drinking together slow metabolism. The carcinogens from the cigarettes stay in the bloodstream longer. Longer exposure to carcinogens increases the risk of cancer.
If you’re struggling with alcohol and tobacco abuse you can get help here.
Get Treatment for Tobacco and Alcohol Addiction
The fact that alcohol and tobacco are legal and accessible makes them easy to abuse. The effects of tobacco and alcohol mixed together are dangerous.
Abuse results in a shorter life span, respiratory problems, and higher risk for cancer. Rehab programs can help you end your addiction.
Please don’t hesitate to seek treatment.