Why does this happen??? We never ever want one during the week, and the smell of it normally puts us right off, but after 3 or 4 wines our minds are completely changed. We found out why.
Dr John Dani has found that the answer is two pronged; The first is the way that nicotine affects the memory, and the second is that nicotine when it’s combines with alcohol can reduce your dopamine levels (the stuff that makes you happy)
Dr Dani’s team ran experiments which concluded that nicotine could strengthen neural connections (memories) when the brain sent a dopamine signal. The study underlined that feel-good activities make us want to do them again, and it showed on a neurological level that our memories of smoking cigarettes get hardwired into the brain.
When they’re taken separately, alcohol and nicotine bolster dopamine in the brain. Because of this, Dr Dani and his team theorised that if nicotine and alcohol were consumed together, levels of dopamine would rise even higher, but after experimenting with dopamine levels in mice, they found that the opposite is actually true.
So the reason people keep smoking and drinking is to regain that happiness. It’s a cycle that starts when alcohol brings up those positive memories of smoking. But then smoking a cigarette, after drinking, drops your levels of dopamine. So there’s again an urge to drink more to recuperate levels of happiness-inducing dopamine, and the cycle starts over.