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November 10th, 2015:

Why you smoke when you drink alcohol

Scientists in Missouri tested the joint effects of alcohol and nicotine on rats

The stimulating effects of nicotine can offset the sleep-promoting effects of alcohol

Scientists may have discovered the reason why people become social smokers while drinking alcohol – and it is primarily to do with staying awake.

Researchers at the University of Missouri believe that people crave the effects of nicotine – a stimulant – when drinking, as it helps to offset the feelings of sleepiness induced by alcohol, Medical Daily reports.

The study, published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, saw researchers monitor the effects of alcohol and nicotine on rats’ brains.

In studying the basal forebrains of the animals, the area of the brain associated with reflexes, learning and attention, the researchers found that nicotine helped to supress the sleep-promoting effects of alcohol.

The researchers said: “One reason why people use nicotine, a stimulant, with alcohol is to enhance recreational [or] pleasurable sensations while suppressing alcohol’s aversive effects such as sleepiness.

“Here, we demonstrate that nicotine acts via the basal forebrain to suppress sleep-promoting effects of alcohol further implicating the basal forebrain as a key substrate in nicotine alcohol co-use.”

Tobacco use fueled by e-cigs, hookah remains high among US Hispanics/Latinos

Tobacco use remains a serious problem among Hispanic/Latino adults, with increasing use and acceptance of e-cigarettes and hookah among younger tobacco users living in the United States, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015.

Hookah, also known as a water pipe, consists of a bowl, a chamber partially filled with water, hose and mouthpiece. It is designed to burn specialty tobacco which is typically flavored.

To better understand Hispanics’/Latinos’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the use of tobacco products, as well as how these might differ across Hispanic/Latino ethnicities, researchers conducted 26 focus groups with smokers and nonsmokers. The focus groups included 180 Hispanic/Latino participants, 18 to 64 years of age, residing in varying U.S. locations where particular ethnic subgroups have settled: Chicago (Central and South Americans), New York City (Puerto Ricans and Dominicans), San Diego (Mexican/Mexican Americans) and Miami (Cubans). Participants were recruited based on their birthplace (mainland U.S. vs elsewhere) and use of the English language as an index of acculturation (gradual process whereby immigrants incorporate the beliefs and behaviors of the mainstream culture).

Researchers found that regardless of the specific ethnic background and geographic location:

Hispanic/Latino participants reported substantial use of e-cigarettes and/or hookah.
Spanish-speaking immigrants who were 36 to 64 years were least likely to use these alternative tobacco products, whereas younger Latino smokers who were 18-35 reported significantly greater use.
Easy access to these products, the appeal of flavored tobacco products’ taste and smell, minimal restrictions on public use, and use while socializing were cited as reasons contributing to these products desirability.


Note: Actual presentation is 4:45 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015.

Additional Resources:

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Global Epidemic: Consumer Product causes Tooth Loss, Cancer & Male Impotence

Global Epidemic:

  • Consumer Product causes Tooth Loss, Cancer & Male Impotence
  • Kills half of uses, even when used as recommended
  • Aggressively marketed through litigation, millions spent on lawsuits
  • If cars killed half of its users, there would be an uproar
  • The leading cause of preventable death that no one talks about
  • Without action, one billion people will die from tobacco this century