Smoking may worsen a hangover after drinking heavily US research concludes- although the reason why is unclear.Researchers asked 113 US students to keep a diary for eight weeks, recording their drinking and smoking habits and any hangover symptoms.
When they drank heavily- around six cans of beer an hour – those who also smoked suffered a worse hangover.
Addiction charities hope this study may motivate smokers to cut down.
The study’s findings are reported in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
One of the paper’s authors, Dr Damaris Rohsenow, from the Centre for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University said: “At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers.”
“And smoking itself was linked to an increased risk of hangover compared with not smoking at all. That raises the likelihood that there is some direct effect of tobacco smoking on hangovers.”
The students from a Midwestern university in the US reported on the number of drinks consumed, number of cigarettes smoked and their hangover symptoms – which included if they felt more tired than usual, had a headache, felt nauseated and had difficulty concentrating.
The researchers then estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which helped control for differences between sexes as it took into account weight and the period over which the student drank alcohol.
After analysing the results, the researchers found that smoking more heavily the day before increased the presence and severity of hangover the next day – but only after a heavy drinking episode, estimated at a BAC of 110mg/dl or greater – the equivalent of around six cans of beer an hour.
The reasons why are unclear- but the study suggests it may down to the toxicological and pharmacological effects of nicotine on the nervous system.