Cigarettes and booze are either two crippling addictions that often go hand in hand, or two great tastes that taste great together, depending on who you ask. People who have problems with both are often labelled "addictive personalities" but it turns out there might be something in our brain chemistry that ties both of these addictions together, and might give us a way to fight it.

Protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) is an enzyme known to influence how we behave around alcohol, but new research also pinpoints it as also a source of nicotine attraction. Mice engineered to lack the enzyme were far less likely to go for nicotine than those with it — and don't worry, it was nicotine water, not tiny little rodent sized cigarettes. Not only were those with PKCε more likely to go after nicotine, they also preferred hanging out in rooms where they had previously been given the drug.


This could mean that creating an inhibitor for PKCε could help people fight addictions to both alcohol and nicotine at once.


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