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Smoking and Tobacco

Is this a possible side-effect of smoking?

02/26/2008

Question:

I am a 116lb female and I had a rather odd occurance that i cannot explain. I went to a party and had about 8 shots of vodka in about an hour, but then ate and drank about 24 oz of a water/powerade mix over the next few hours. I was a little tipsy but otherwise felt okay. In addition, I took the paper out of 2 thin, black& mild cigars and put solely the tobacco (no marijuana or any additions) back in. I smoked both in about 1.5 hrs, about an hour after drinking the alcohol. I went back to my apartment about a half hour later a bit tipsy but feeling fine overall. 2 hours later i woke up with the spins (normal) and i felt a bit nauseas. My skin became overly sensitive to even my blankets and my boyfriend said that I was burning up (fever or blankets?) I proceeded to go to the living room, where I began to become more nauseas and losing my ability to hear and see- white noise blocked out my boyfriends voice and my vision was bruised- yellow and black and i couldn`t even tell that the kitchen light was on. i could hear myself speaking, and thought I should vomit, but the nausea fled and when I went to get up, I couldnt hold myself up or walk. My limbs felt like they were flooded with ice water but apparently I still had a fever (my boyfriend told me after the episode). After about an hour of sitting on the floor and attempting to sip water, the symptoms passed,with the minor exception of the nausea which, in addition to the spins, lasted through the next day. I am not taking any medications, but I have been diagnosed with a minor anxiety disorder with occasional panic attacks. I do not know if this is a side effect of having the cigars with the alcohol (certainly not a combination i will try again anyway) or just the alcohol or if i managed to scare my self badly enough to set off this reaction. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I have not found any references to any of these symptoms so far online.

Answer:

Eight shots of vodka in an hour for a 116 lb. woman, and you wonder if it was the tobacco? You are lucky to be alive. I suspect that the eating and the high fructose drink saved you from a much worse reaction. Tobacco is terrible -- but in the long run. Trust me, this was the alcohol.

Further, it suggests a much deeper problem than simple anxiety. This was a near death experience akin to taking a bottle of sleeping pills. Please see your doctor or a counselor soon.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University