, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 8–15

Cigarette smoking by women: interactions with alcohol use


  • N. K. Mello
    • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research CenterHarvard Medical School-McLean Hospital
  • J. H. Mendelson
    • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research CenterHarvard Medical School-McLean Hospital
  • S. L. Palmieri
    • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research CenterHarvard Medical School-McLean Hospital
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF02439579

Cite this article as:
Mello, N.K., Mendelson, J.H. & Palmieri, S.L. Psychopharmacology (1987) 93: 8. doi:10.1007/BF02439579


Cigarette smoking increased during alcohol self-administration in comparison to an alcohol-free baseline in 24 women given access to alcohol for 21 days. Heavy smokers (25 or more cigarettes per day) increased smoking significantly during drinking (P<0.05). Analysis of tobacco smoking by level of alcohol consumption showed that both heavy and moderate alcohol users increased smoking significantly during alcohol availability (P<0.05, 0.01). The heavy and moderate smokers smoked significantly more between noon and midnight (P<0.001) than at other times when alcohol was available. The rate of cigarette smoking (defined by inter-cigarette intervals) was faster during alcohol self-administration than during the alcohol-free baseline. Heavy smokers smoked most cigarettes at intervals of 11–20 min during heavy or moderate drinking. During the pre-alcohol baseline, these women smoked most cigarettes at intervals of 21–30 or 31–40 min. Most women (70–74%) also increased tobacco smoking at the premenstruum. Both heavy and occasional smokers increased smoking at the premenstruum significantly more than the moderate smokers (P<0.05). All women reported increased psychological discomfort at the premenstruum on the Premenstrual Assessment Form (PAF) but reports of physical discomfort were more marked in women who smoked less at the premenstruum. These data extend previous findings in men that alcohol consumption is associated with increased cigarette smoking to female social drinkers.

Key words

Alcohol effects on cigarette smokingCigarette smokingTobacco smokingCigarette smoking by womenCigarette smoking and menstrual cycle phaseMenstrual cycle phase and cigarette smokingPremenstrual assessment form
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© Springer-Verlag 1987