Adults who attempt to quit smoking may consume less alcohol than smokers who have not tried to quit. While smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, nearly 40 million American adults currently smoke cigarettes with 70 percent stating an intention to quit. Drinking alcohol may act as a smoking trigger for some people. Learn about research being conducted about how quitting smoking can help reduce alcohol consumption.


Fast Facts

Research was conducted on the link between smoking cessation and reduced alcohol intake. Between March 2014 and September 2015, 6,278 of the respondents reported smoking. Of those who smoked, 144 tried to quit the week prior to completion of the survey. Some of the following facts emerged from the survey results:

  • Nearly 17 percent of adults in the U.S. currently smoke
  • Smoking accounts for nearly 480,000 deaths in the U.S. each year
  • Around 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease


Most notable from the results was that, compared with smokes who had not attempted to quit in the past week, the people who tried to quit smoking reported lower overall alcohol intake, lower levels of binge drinking and were more likely to be deemed ‘light drinkers.’ Researchers were not able to establish cause and effect or conclude whether smoking itself reduces alcohol consumption.


Smoking Cessation

Evidence consistently demonstrates most habitual smokers want to quit, however nicotine is highly addictive. Nicotine cessation programs abound but it is difficult to kick the habit due to the highly addictive nature of the way nicotine changes the brain’s response to the presence of the drug.


Impact on Alcohol Intake

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital took data gathered from nearly 1,300 participants in a study and noted results. Here is what the study found:

  • Demographic subgroups in the pool of participants included people with alcoholism, women and people of various backgrounds
  • All participants in each subgroup received a medication-based smoking cessation treatment
  • Researchers assessed alcohol intake levels for two weeks prior to first day of cessation and two weeks after use ended
  • Conclusion was reached that people affected by alcoholism experience substantial drops in alcohol intake when smoking ends
  • Amount of alcohol consumed prior to quitting smoking has a large impact on post-cessation drinking  among men or any person with no history of alcoholism
  • Continued involvement in a high level of alcohol intake may jeopardize long-term chances of recovery from tobacco use

Though there are conflicting reports about whether reduced alcohol consumption is directly correlated to smoking cessation, the end goal remains the same. Smoking and drinking too much can have detrimental effects on a person’s behavior, health and life. If it has become problematic, it is time to seek help and return to a healthier way of life.


Hired Power understands the power of addiction over people’s lives.We partner with you to determine next steps to get from where you are not to where you want to be. Sobriety is a choice. Take the first step today and decide to give recovery a chance.

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