Can Smoking Make Hangovers Feel More Intense?

Drinking and smoking cigarettes can go hand-in-hand for many people. On days a person drinks heavily, they may also smoke a lot. The nicotine may actually contribute to the intensity of a hangover for people who drink too much. Smoking heavily on the same day as drinking creates more of a hangover experience than for people who do not smoke and drink. Learn more about why this happens and what causes the intensity of a hangover to rise with smoking.

Severe Hangover Symptoms

Even when participants were controlled for age, the frequency of drug use, type of involvement, gender, smoking status, and results of the study were the same: heavy smoking caused more severe hangover symptoms. Heavy drinking behavior was defined as having five or six beers over the course of an hour, resulting in students having an estimate blood-alcohol concentration of 0.11.

Nicotine’s Role

Researchers for this study looked at the most intense hangover symptoms and noted they were not just caused by students smoking more when they drank. Those who consumed the same number of alcoholic beverages had a more intense hangover if they smoked more. Researchers are not sure why the combination of nicotine and alcohol causes more intense symptoms but it may be how dopamine is released in the brain. Smoking and drinking at the same time may boost the release of dopamine in the brain, so nicotine and alcohol are somehow connected in how they impact the brain.

Safety Hazard

The danger of severe hangovers is with how it impacts attention and reaction time. A bad hangover might create in a person anxiety about working in certain occupations while experiencing hangover symptoms. Smoking may increase the negative effects on the brain caused by long-term heavy alcohol consumption. For different reasons, smoking has gone in tandem with drinking for many people. There are reasons to avoid both, especially if a person chain smokes and also drinks. The body cannot handle so much going on inside of it at once and will eventually struggle to cope. This is so difficult for the body to deal with, including the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and other parts of the body. When a person puts all those toxins into the body at once, it can create myriad different reactions and responses which make it difficult for the body and brain to know how to react and results in a more intense hangover. It is best to consider finding ways of smoking less and drinking less if the behavior is problematic for health and wellness.

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