Hangover Helper

January 14, 2013

Torah Kachur

In a shocking turn of events, binge smoking and binge drinking together makes you feel more like ass than binge drinking alone.



But in all seriousness (wait, I can be serious?), there's a lot of science going into hangovers mostly to have a hangover pill one day that they can sell like Viagra, just to everyone.  Part of hangover biology is that smoking increases the severity of hangovers, as does the type of alcohol. In a survey based study from Brown University, 113 college students were surveyed according to their drinking and smoking habits.   It is known that the quality and severity of the hangover is related to the peak alcohol blood concentration - so slow and steady wins the race.  Also, alcohols with high congener content like bourbon had more severe hangovers.  Wait?  They found college students who drank bourbon?  What is the world coming to?  That wasn't this study, that's been known for some time. 


This study asked students to count the number of drinks and the number of cigarettes they had that day and rank their hangovers.  The more they smoked, the shittier they felt the next day.  The conclusion of the study was perhaps supporting what everyone knows already but it opens the door to understanding the biological basis of hangovers and why smoking increases the pain.


It's hardly conclusive evidence and perhaps something not worthy of Nature.  But I'm not a smoker, so I'm not all that invested in preventing smoking-induced hangovers.  I just want my Sundays back!


Jackson KM, Rohsenow DJ, Piasecki TM, Howland J, & Richardson AE (2013). Role of tobacco smoking in hangover symptoms among university students. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 74 (1), 41-9 PMID: 23200149



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