The study, which focuses on the impact of addiction and substance abuse, revealed that the environment in which we consume alcohol shapes our behaviours.

"This research is a first attempt to explore other triggers, such as smell, that may interfere with people's ability to refrain from a particular behaviour," Rebecca Monk, senior lecturer at Edge Hill University in Britain.The findings were published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

The team carried out a computer-based study, in which participants were asked to wear a facemask that was either laced with alcohol, or a non-alcoholic citrus solution. They were then instructed to press a button when either the letter K or a picture of a beer bottle appeared on their screen.

The researchers measured the number of times the participants incorrectly pressed the button causing a 'false alarm'. These false alarms indicate a reduction in the participant's power to inhibit their behaviour when they were expected to.

The number of these false alarms was higher in participants who were wearing the alcohol treated mask, the researchers explained.

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