Coffee and Cigarette Cessation: Yay or Nay?


Coffee and Cigarette Cessation

Cigarette smoking is a dangerous habit with a recorded history of adverse effects. To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it the leading cause of preventable deaths. Aside from this, smoking tobacco cigarettes is also known to be a global cause of illness and impoverishment. This is because smoking can cause many chronic illnesses to both smokers and those who are merely exposed to secondhand smoke. This includes serious diseases like cancers, diabetes, and COPD. These are naturally expensive to treat and manage, thereby taking a financial toll on affected parties. 

All this is why there is a huge need for smoking cessation. While there are many medical and professionally-led interventions today, some smokers may still prefer a more natural and accessible quit solution. Given that coffee is already a popular drink among smokers, it begs the question of whether this beloved beverage can do more harm than good or if it’s a cessation aid. 

Coffee considerations to know

While coffee has many great benefits, like being rich in antioxidants, too much of it can be a bad thing. As explained in Deepika Lakshmi Ganesan’s article on coffee, the drink is known to have potential disadvantages, like causing spikes in cholesterol, diuresis, or blood pressure. Unfortunately, evidence proves that smokers drink more coffee than non-smokers. According to a study by the Noria Corporation, the average smoker consumes almost twice as much coffee every day. On top of this, the same study says that about 32% of surveyed smokers aren’t aware of how too much coffee can adversely affect them. Aside from this overconsumption, making them more at risk for the aforementioned health issues, smokers’ cessation efforts can also be thwarted by too much coffee. 

First, smoking is a self-soothing habit that many smokers undertake to deal with stressful situations. These situations can include being diagnosed with or living with illness. On top of this, research has shown that tobacco can have pain-relieving qualities. This is why some smokers allegedly have higher pain tolerances. As such, cigarettes’ perceived ability to dull physical and mental pain is seen as a reason to keep smoking. Unbeknownst to smokers, the issues that are causing them stress and pain may very well be brought on by their excessive coffee drinking. 

Second, coffee can be a trigger for smokers, as cigarettes are closely associated with this drink. A survey by Commit Cappuccino found that around 43% of smokers start to crave cigarettes after having coffee. This association can then bump up a smoker’s cigarette use, as they’ll be inclined to light one up whenever they’re around the drink. In some cases, cessation experts even suggest cutting out coffee for the first few months of giving up smoking so as to prevent any triggers. 

When coffee can help 

That said, coffee also poses specific benefits to smoking cessation. As a convenient and easily accessible item, there are many simple yet effective ways that coffee can be utilized to help a smoker’s quit journey. For starters, when coffee is consumed in appropriate amounts, it has been found to quell cigarette cravings. Because of an organic compound in coffee, the hypersensitive nicotine receptors in the brain can be regulated. So, if you’re a smoker who feels the need to smoke first thing in the morning, having a cup of fresh coffee before anything else can squash that craving before you act on it. Just remember that moderation is key here, as explained above. 

Next, coffee has a gratifying flavor that can curb cravings. This has been cleverly optimized in cigarette alternatives that help promote smoking cessation. To illustrate, coffee pouches, like those from VELO and Lucy, are cigarette replacements that contain controlled doses of nicotine in a smoke- and tobacco-free oral format. These are meant to help smokers slowly wean off cigarettes. By adding coffee flavorings, these pouches can mimic the flavor of a fresh espresso, light brew, or medium roast. Therefore, opting for a coffee-flavored alternative like this means a smoker can satisfy their need for the caffeinated beverage and prevent withdrawal symptoms from going cold turkey. 

Coffee is a natural stimulant, thanks to the high levels of caffeine it has. This can be a great replacement for the nicotine in cigarettes, which many smokers rely on for energy and alertness. Interestingly, its cognitive impact is so great that even artificial coffee fragrances can help with concentration and mood. This is because the scent of coffee can stimulate certain sections of the brain. Brands like Pura and Penn & Beach even make coffee-scented diffusers and candles for this very purpose. This can be helpful for those trying to quit smoking, as one side effect of cessation is restlessness, anxiety, and sleep troubles. 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Leave a Comment