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Drinking less alcohol may help smokers quit: study

WATCH: Going dry this January may be the key to succeeding with other New Year's resolutions, especially if kicking that smoking habit is at the top of the list. Heather Yourex-West explains why.

There’s a biological reason why cigarettes and alcohol go together so well, according to new research out of Oregon State University.

“Alcohol use and cigarette smoking often go hand in hand and in this particular study, we wanted to understand what happens when people reduce their drinking in terms of their ability to change their smoking habits,” said Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and the study’s lead author.

Dermody’s team followed a group of 22 daily smokers who were seeking treatment for alcohol use disorder in Toronto. The research found that as participants decreased their alcohol intake, their nicotine metabolite ratio fell too.

READ MORE: Teen smoking rate in Saskatchewan highest in Canada

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.

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“We think these findings suggest that people should really consider reducing their drinking as they quit smoking in order to improve their outcomes,” Dermody said.

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The study was published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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