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For Young Adults, Cigarettes More Pleasurable with Alcohol than with Pot

By Elizabeth Fernandez | | April 18, 2017

For Young Adults, Cigarettes More Pleasurable with Alcohol than with Pot

Young adults get more pleasure from smoking cigarettes while they are drinking alcohol than they do while using marijuana, according to a new UC San Francisco study.

The study is the first to document that tobacco accompanied by alcohol provides cigarette smokers with a greater perceived reward than when they smoke cigarettes while using marijuana. 

The study will be published online April 18, 2017, in the journal Addiction Research & Theory.

“What we’ve learned may have important implications for understanding differences in co-use of cigarettes with alcohol versus marijuana,” said co-first author Noah R. Gubner, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF.  

“Our findings show that co-use of cigarettes and alcohol could be more pleasurable than co-use of cigarettes and marijuana,” said Gubner.

Smoking Common Among Heavy Drinkers

Research has shown that among young adults, cigarette smoking is strongly associated with alcohol and marijuana use – and smoking is particularly common among heavy drinkers or binge drinkers. Previous studies have also shown that the combined pharmacological effects of cigarettes and alcohol can lead to a heightened sense of reward for the users.