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Director's Corner

Alcohol and tobacco—Can AA Groups help to break the connection?

It is well known that smoking and drinking go together. People who consume alcohol are much more likely to smoke, and vice versa. For those who struggle with alcoholism, the connection is even tighter, with smoking rates among alcoholics reaching up to ~50%. Studies have shown that brain changes caused by smoking and drinking are addictive and different from the use of either substance alone. Use of one substance can lead to the use of the other, and early exposure to either tobacco or alcohol can lead to addiction in later life. Alcohol increases cravings to smoke, decreases the time between cigarettes, and increases smoking frequency. Similarly, smoking increases alcohol craving, decreases its subjective effects, and leads to greater alcohol consumption. Nicotine may lessen the perception of intoxication, thereby leading to more alcohol consumption during heavy drinking episodes. Read more...