Heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke are just three of the many health risks associated with smoking cigarettes.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 37 million Americans still smoke cigarettes even though warnings have been out for years about the dangerous consequences.
“Tobacco use, smoking, is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in our society,” said Dr. Steven Zucker, director of the Area Health Education Center at Nova Southeastern University.
But quitting isn’t easy. The CDC found that 70% of smokers want to quit, but only 6% are successful.
“Stopping smoking is really difficult. Most people take multiple attempts before they’re able to quit,” Zucker said.
But researchers from Oregon State University have found a new way to increase the chances of success: cut back on alcohol.
They found that a drinker’s nicotine metabolite ratio, a biomarker for how quickly a person's body metabolizes nicotine, reduced when they cut back on drinking.
People with a lower ratio have an easier time going cold turkey and are more likely to be successful when using nicotine replacement products.
So if you want to ditch the cigs, ditch the cocktails, too.
Many experts suggest also signing up for a stop-smoking group, which can hold you accountable and provide you with support and peers to lean on.