Quitting Smoking, Drinking
Examining the brains of deceased alcoholics who smoked, researchers found drinkers who also smoked derived more pleasure from each activity individually, making both harder to quit. "Alcoholics often have a particularly hard time quitting cigarettes. Traute Flatscher-Bader at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues wondered why this should be. So they did a post-mortem analysis of gene expression in the brains of smokers, alcoholics and those who had done both during their lives." The analysis is more than a social survey, says the New Scientist: "Knowing that the link between drinking and smoking may not be purely social could lead to new ways to treat addiction."