Essay about Drinking Alcohol and Smoking Tobacco - A Deadly Duo

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Alcohol and Tobacco: A Deadly Duo

Cancer of the upper respiratory and alimentary tracts claimed over 23,000 lives in 1989 and 57,000 additional cases were diagnosed. The majority of individuals who fall prey to this type of cancer are males who abuse both alcohol and tobacco.

The Risk

The fact that the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, lip, tongue, mouth, pharynx or larynx, increases dramatically in people who are heavy users of alcohol and tobacco is substantiated by 30 years of collective research. Studies demonstrate that the risk to individuals dually addicted far outweighs the risk to individuals who abuse only one substance. This confirmed link between alcohol and tobacco abuse and an increased risk in
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Another study, which compared male and female alcoholics enrolled in an army drug and alcohol rehabilitation program to non-alcoholic army personnel and their relatives, affirmed the smoking-drinking association. The report found that individuals who were alcoholics smoked an average of 49 cigarettes per day, but that the non-alcoholic subjects smoked only 13 cigarettes per day. In addition, the study established a high correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked and the grams of alcohol consumed by alcoholics, as opposed to a very weak association for the non-alcoholic control group.

In a similar report, 58 percent of the non-drinkers were non-smokers, but the individuals who were alcoholics did not abstain from smoking. The finding that smokers who did not drink smoked significantly less than smokers who did drink was further substantiated in additional studies.

Why Do Many Drinkers Smoke More?

Studies released in the late 1950s, correlating heavy coffee consumption with smoking and drinking, suggested that a strong oral drive caused drinkers to smoke more frequently. However, new evidence suggests that a strong oral drive is not the culprit.

In one study, alcoholics who had successfully stopped drinking demonstrated no appreciable increase in smoking. In fact, some even smoked less with alcohol abstinence. If a strong oral drive was responsible for the

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