The Connection Between Caffeine & Nicotine

You’ve seen this scenario portrayed in countless movies and everyday life: coffee in one hand and cigarette in the other. It’s no wonder that caffeine and nicotine have such a strong relationship. To get a deeper understanding of why these two often go together, Nicotinell has taken a look at the facts.


Both coffee and smoking are stimulants

Caffeine and nicotine are both chemicals that affect your brain by increasing focus and physiological arousal. Both can increase blood pressure, making you feel temporarily alert. They have several side effects in common too, such as insomnia and a faster heartbeat.


Both coffee and smoking are addictive

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as ‘a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Withdrawal leads to cravings and irritability.’ That certainly applies to both!


Nicotine makes you lose caffeine

Nicotine doubles the rate at which the body depletes caffeine. This is because nicotine interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and utilise caffeine. That’s why it takes a smoker more coffee to get the same buzz as a non-smoker. And equally why when you stop smoking and consume the same amount of caffeine, you feel much more jittery.


Stimulants lead to fatigue

Caffeine makes many people feel jittery and unable to sleep. Long-term use leads to nervousness, insomnia, dehydration, stomach irritation and fatigue. As for nicotine, once it’s taken into the body, blood sugar rises slightly, giving you increased energy that soon subsides. Both leave you on a low note, causing you to drink caffeine and smoke more.

The Takeaway

Consider adjusting your coffee drinking patterns when quitting smoking. First, drink half the amount of coffee you used to, as that likely will be all you need to have the same stimulus effect. Second, redefine your coffee habit so it doesn’t trigger a desire to smoke. You can do that by replacing your cigarette with a tasty treat or a puzzle, or even by drinking your coffee while strolling outside.

How to get started:

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Think about your family

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