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Link Found between Smoking and Alcoholism

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There have been many studies over the years to establish whether smoking and alcoholism go hand in hand, but up until now studies have only revealed reckless behavior as the only commonality.

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have now found a strong link between the two addictions, reports Science20.com.

They have found that nicotine, found in cigarettes, eliminates the sleep-inducing effects of alcohol, giving them belief that alcohol and nicotine usage are closely related.

"One of the adverse effects of drinking alcohol is sleepiness” said Mahesh Thakkar, Ph.D., associate professor and director of research in the MU School of Medicine's Department of Neurology and lead author of the study.

"However, when used in conjunction with alcohol, nicotine acts as a stimulant to ward off sleep. If an individual smokes, then he or she is much more likely to consume more alcohol, and vice-versa. They feed off one another."

The results from the study will give experts a firm foundation for future research into how to combat alcohol or nicotine addiction.

"We have found that nicotine weakens the sleep-inducing effects of alcohol by stimulating a response in an area of the brain known as the basal forebrain. By identifying the reactions that take place when people smoke and drink, we may be able to use this knowledge to help curb alcohol and nicotine addiction." He said.

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