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The combining of the two addictions is because of alcohol and nicotine's differing affects on our nervous system. Alcohol, probably the best anti-anxiety medication ever discovered, is a depressant. Nicotine, it turns out, is a really good antidepressant. Eureka! We can ease our anxieties with alcohol and cancel out the depression with nicotine! And that's exactly what many drinkers do. Practiced users can meter their moods with pinpoint accuracy since they alternate sips and smokes throughout the afternoon and evening.