WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- If you feel especially hung over after a night of drinking, you may have to blame more than the booze: New research suggests that smoking while drinking may worsen hangovers.
The findings, published online Dec. 5 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, don't confirm that smoking makes hangovers more intolerable. And even if it does, it's not clear why that might happen or what might counteract the effect, other than not lighting up in the first place.
Still, it's important to understand how hangovers work because they can affect workplace safety and academic performance, said study co-author Damaris Rohsenow, an associate director at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies.
Overall, she said, the study provides "another reason why heavy drinkers may want to quit smoking, both to reduce the discomfort of a hangover and reduce the brain dysfunction that happens when heavy drinkers smoke."
Hangovers may not be a popular topic in the world of scientific research, but they're certainly discussed in society at large. The research that has been conducted suggests that hangovers kick in for more than half of people after their blood alcohol level reaches about 0.11, she said. That's slightly above the legal limit for driving in the United States.
However, she said, about 20 percent to 25 percent of those who drink enough to get a hangover actually don't experience them.
In the new study, researchers used online surveys to track 113 students from an unidentified American university for two months. The students recorded happenings like drinking, smoking and hangovers.
After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn't be thrown off by other factors -- like tobacco-using students drinking more overall -- the researchers found that students who smoked on the same days that they drank were more
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