Drinking and smoking often go hand in hand

A drink and a cigarette belong together like mussels and fries. However pleasant it may be, the combination of alcohol and smoking results in an extra high risk of cancer. For example, the relationship between alcohol and oral and pharyngeal cancer is stronger for smokers than for non-smokers.

Smoking and alcohol use often go hand in hand. For example, smokers generally drink more alcohol than non-smokers. And alcohol-drinking smokers therefore have an increased risk of cancer. How about that?


The substance acetaldehyde plays a major role in the greatly increased risk of cancer with regard to the combination of alcohol consumption and smoking. Acetaldehyde is a harmful substance that is formed during the breakdown of alcohol. You can also find this substance in cigarettes. The carcinogenic acetaldehyde is present in a higher concentration in the saliva of smokers. In comparison: in smokers who also drink alcohol, this concentration is up to 7 times higher than in non-smokers.


Alcohol is also said to help transport other carcinogens from cigarettes, such as benzo(a)pyrene, in the body because of its role as a solvent. These substances are then more easily absorbed into the body, where they can lead to damage to cells and DNA.

Smell from your mouth

In addition, both the excessive use of alcohol and the smoking of cigarettes lead to poor oral hygiene. This will change the composition of bacteria in the oral cavity. This can cause 50-60% higher levels of the carcinogenic acetaldehyde in the saliva when smoking as well as drinking alcohol.

Not very encouraging, but important to know. Both smoking and drinking are not good for the body, but the combination is doubly bad.




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