If the smoking-related deaths of 1,200 people a day isn’t enough to scare you off from having a cigarette with your drink, maybe something more immediate will. Like, the more you smoke, the worse your hangover will be.

 

Cigarettes go with cocktails like cookies go with milk, but researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island, found that college students who smoke and drink alcohol heavily are twice as likely to report hangover symptoms as those who only drank. (Heavily was defined as five or six beers in an hour.)

 

In the study, 113 students filled out a Web-based survey every day for eight weeks on their drinking and smoking tendencies.

 

"At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers," says researcher Dr. Damaris J. Rohsenow of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.

 

“In general, people smoke more when they drink because it counteracts some of the sedative effects of alcohol,” says Rohsenow, a professor of behavioral and social sciences. “People also tend to feel better when they smoke while drinking because both increase the release of [the brain’s pleasure chemical] dopamine.”

 

Why the combination makes for a more uncomfortable hangover isn’t exactly understood. Both alcohol and smoking can hamper sleep, which may make hangovers feel a lot worse, Rohsenow noted. As well, the dopamine rush may be followed by a crash, adding to the discomfort.

 

The study appears in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

 

Related story on MNN: 5 natural hangover remedies