Ever wonder why you start to crave a cigarette during a night of heavy drinking? Researchers in Missouri may have figured it out.
A new study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry suggests that nicotine enhances the pleasurable effects of alcohol, while offsetting the sleepiness it normally induces.
The study, which examined the brains of lab rats that were given nicotine and alcohol, found that the nicotine stimulated the areas of the brain associated with reflexes, learning and attention while alcohol acted as a depressant, effecting the central nervous system, Medical Daily reports. Consuming both together, would thus have a balancing affect.
And that's not the only reason why you might want that smoke after a night at the pub. As Dr. Marina Picciotto explained to Men's Health in 2013, nicotine strengthens associations in your brain. So if you had a good time smoking after a long night of partying last month, the next time you go to a party, the environment might trigger those cravings all over again.
But while occasionally smoking while drinking might seem harmless, scientists say intermittent smoking can be just as deadly as daily smoking, not to mention, it's been known to make tomorrow's hangover significantly worse.
Are you a social smoker? Let us know in the comments below.