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Cutting back on drinking could help with smoking cessation: Study

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If you are planning to quit smoking as part of your New Year's resolution, here's a tip. According to a recent study, cutting back on drinking might help with smoking cessation.

The research has found that heavy drinkers who are trying to stop smoking may find that reducing their alcohol use can also help them quit their daily smoking habit.

Heavy drinkers' nicotine metabolite ratio - a biomarker that indicates how quickly a person's body metabolizes nicotine - reduced as they cut back on their drinking.

Past research has suggested that people with higher nicotine metabolism ratios are likely to smoke more and that people with higher rates have a harder time quitting. The study was published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Slowing a person's nicotine metabolism rate through reduced drinking could provide an edge when trying to stop smoking, which is known to be a difficult task, said Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and the study's lead author.

"It takes a lot of determination to quit smoking, often several attempts. This research suggests that drinking is changing the nicotine metabolism as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio and that daily smoking and heavy drinking may best be treated together," Dermody said.

Use of both alcohol and cigarettes is widespread, with nearly 1 in 5 adults using both. Cigarette use is especially prevalent in heavy drinkers. Drinking is a well-established risk factor for smoking, and smoking is a well-established risk factor for drinking.

"What's really interesting is that the nicotine metabolite ratio is clinically useful," Dermody said. "People with a higher ratio have a harder time quitting smoking cold turkey. They have are also less likely to successfully quit using nicotine replacement therapy products.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, December 28 2018. 15:30 IST
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