Smoking, Alcohol, Wellbeing and Academic Attainment

Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 3 (2019)

8 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019

Date Written: September 1, 2019


Three studies examined associations between smoking, alcohol consumption, wellbeing and academic attainment of university students. Wellbeing was measured using the Student Wellbeing Process Questionnaire (WPQ) and academic attainment measured by the Grade Point Average (GPA) and perceived work efficiency. In the first study frequency of consuming alcohol, alcohol units, consumers versus non-consumers and drinking more than the recommended safe level were examined. 895 university students (95 males, 797 females; 6% smokers) participated in the study. When established predictors of wellbeing were co-varied, smoking still had significant effect on academic attainment but not wellbeing. There were no significant effects of frequency of alcohol consumption or high/low alcohol units, and no significant interaction between smoking and alcohol group. Non-consumers of alcohol reported higher negative outcomes but greater work efficiency. Those who consumed more alcohol than the recommended safe limit had lower scores for positive well-being, work efficiency and course stress. A second smaller study examined effects of binge drinking. There was only one significant effect. Regular binge drinkers reported lower work efficiency than the less frequent binge drinkers, who in turn reported lower work efficiency than those who never engaged in binge drinking. A final study examined associations between frequency of hangovers, well-being and attainment. The only significant effect was again on work efficiency, with those who regularly had a hangover being less efficient than those who sometimes had a hangover who were less efficient than those who never had a hangover.

Keywords: Smoking, Alcohol, Binge Drinking, Hangover, Wellbeing, Academic Attainment

Suggested Citation

Smith, Andrew, Smoking, Alcohol, Wellbeing and Academic Attainment (September 1, 2019). Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 3 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Andrew Smith (Contact Author)

Cardiff University ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics