In the past it was easy to see why people smoked cigarettes. Ads for tobacco products were in magazines, bill boards, actors smoked on screen and smoking was allowed in almost any public building. But, as people have become aware of the dangers of smoking, cigarettes have lost their popularity. However, there is still a segment of the population that continues to smoke cigarettes. And in an effort to better understand why young people smoke cigarettes, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education polled 18 – 25-year-olds regarding their use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.
According to the results of the survey, young people find it more pleasurable to smoke cigarettes while consuming alcohol, than they do when they are consuming marijuana. In fact, the report shows that pleasure from smoking cigarettes after using marijuana was very small, while pleasure from smoking cigarettes after drinking alcohol was much higher.
“Targeting the increased pleasure from smoking cigarettes when drinking alcohol could enhance effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions among young adults” stated the researchers. This is especially important because a separate study shows that smoking while attempting to come clean off of drugs like marijuana or alcohol may prevent a person from achieving sobriety. This goes against a common understanding that addicts should be allowed to smoke while in treatment. Interestingly, many people have the same opinion of smoking while drinking. Oftentimes a person will only smoke if they are out drinking, abstaining in any other situation. However, it appears that this way of thinking could be even more harmful than just abstaining all together.
There may be further studies that can look into the connection between alcohol and cigarettes, why they are so pleasurable when consumed together. This may provide some insight on how best to educate this age group on the dangers of smoking and also the dangers of binge drinking, another problem common among 18 – 25-year-olds.