Why smoking leads to alcohol addiction
Senior biologist and author Oliver George conducted a study using rat model sand and said that it was a nasty cycle where nicotine made people desire alcohol to benefit the brain and reduce stress. Smoking can lead to alcohol consumption to the point where human can get addicted to it.
The team first tested whether nicotine disclosure could affect alcohol-drinking behavior in rat models. They began with two troops of rats where both groups were given access to alcohol to create the baseline of how much they would drink. The rats consumed a very few amount but they stopped before showing signs of drunkenness.
After this, the researchers used alcohol vapor to produce alcohol dependence in one group of rats. In further tests giving alcohol in large amount, these rats drank the six-pack of beer and had blood alcohol levels close to three times the legal limit for humans.
The second group of rats were given access to both nicotine and alcohol vapor. These rats developed alcohol dependency much faster–and they began drinking the equivalent of a six-pack in just three weeks.
Most rats reduced their alcohol intake to avoid the bitter taste, but the nicotine-given rats just kept drinking. This implied that their behavior was irresistible.
The researchers then offered the rats alcohol with the bitter substance quinine added to see if they could stop the rats from drinking.
Using further studies, George and his colleagues traced this obsessive behavior to the activation of “stress” and “reward” pathways in the brain.