If you feel that you could probably stop smoking if you also quit drinking, you’re not alone. In fact, many smokers have the best chance of kicking their smoking habit by eliminating their drinking habit, too.
Many studies have shown a strong link between smoking and drinking. People who have stopped after a year can relapse after attending a social event with alcoholic drinks. Some even found themselves smoking after having just a couple of beers at home.
If you quit drinking, will you finally quit smoking? In today’s article, we’ll look at the close relationship between the two habits and how quitting drinking will significantly boost your chance of stopping smoking.
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Why It’s Hard to Drink and Stop Smoking
The pleasurable effects of smoking and drinking at the same time make it hard for smokers to stop smoking even with modest amounts of alcohol intake. A cigarette can enhance the experience of drinking a glass of beer or wine.
Alcohol releases dopamine in the system. Nicotine in cigarettes also releases dopamine, doubling the feelings of pleasure. This association is why smokers find it hard to quit when they’re drinking.
Movies and television shows have toned down the visibility of cigarettes in recent years, but it is still portrayed in various media nowadays. These usually show characters who smoke and drink in social scenes, enticing quitters to feel that same level of enjoyment.
The Dangers of Smoking and Drinking
It’s no surprise that smoking and drinking simultaneously will increase your risk of having various cancers. Most who do both are at a higher risk of developing lung, stomach, and mouth cancers.
Aside from these long-term potentially fatal health problems, smoking and drinking will cause immediate issues to your physical and mental performance.
Doing both at the same time will leave you with severe hangovers and upset stomachs the following day. Most people also suffer from nausea, shortness of breath, and symptoms of high blood pressure.
How to Avoid Smoking and Drinking
If you’re motivated to quit smoking, giving up drinking is something you must also overcome. The road to successfully kicking both habits is challenging, but all it takes is a few baby steps.
Keep in mind: there are no permanent side effects of quitting smoking and drinking – just a big boost in your health and self-confidence.
Create a supportive environment
Ask friends and family to stop smoking and drinking when you’re around. Let them know you cannot run errands involving cigarettes and alcohol on their behalf. Also, tell them you’re not forcing them to join your quitting journey but only to respect your decision and give you support.
Changing your routine also changes your habits
This includes smoking and drinking. One way to do this is to practice new things you’ve never tried before, such as exercise, painting, or attending a class to learn something new and interesting.
A supportive environment and keeping yourself busy throughout your quitting journey, especially during the strongest days of withdrawals and cravings, will help you finally kick both habits for good.
Support for Stopping Smoking and Drinking
If you need consultations and guidance from organisations dedicated to stopping smoking, Smokefree Clinic is here to help you. Our bulk-billed telehealth consultants are always ready to listen and help you create a step-by-step plan to live a new life free from smoking with the right tools.
Stop drinking communities and dedicated government helplines are also always accessible to help you stop drinking. Here is a list to help you get started:
- Australian Drug and Alcohol Information Service
- Counselling Online
- Hello Sunday Morning
- Alcohol Think Again
Additionally, here are more community strategies to help you stop smoking.
Smoking and drinking go hand-in-hand because it makes both activities pleasurable. However, by changing your habits and building a supportive environment, you can quit both simultaneously.
We know you’re reading this because you want to know why you can’t stop smoking while drinking. The good news is you’re not alone in feeling this, and it’s possible to quit both at the same time with help from experts who have guided successful quitters along the way.
You’re currently in the best place to start your quit journey.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.