If you're trying to quit drinking, you're going to have a tougher time if you continue to smoke, according to researchers at Yale University.
According to an article published in Medical Xpress, many alcoholics who try to give up drinking claim that smoking made it easier. But the new study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reached a different conclusion.
Alcoholic volunteers had their brains scanned while participating in a normal treatment program. The goal of the scans was to measure the levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA A) that's involved in both drinking and smoking. They found a clear link between GABA A activity in the brains of those who continued to smoke. The smokers also reported twice the rates of craving alcohol than the nonsmokers, which made it more difficult for them to quit drinking.
In a separate study using monkeys, researchers discovered it wasn't nicotine that was stimulating the cravings, but another chemical they couldn't identify.
To read the entire Medical Xpress article, go here.
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