The combination of coffee and a cigarette all too frequently becomes a routine part of a smoker's day. In fact, for many people the presence of one triggers a desire for the other.
This is more than just coincidence. Coffee contains caffeine and cigarettes supply nicotine. Both are stimulants that raise your heart rate, elevate blood pressure, and increase your breathing. By combining nicotine and caffeine, you are actually providing your body with a stimulant effect that is stronger than either one substance taken on its own.
Some people use nicotine and caffeine to help them wake up and start their day. For others, the combination of coffee and a cigarette provides a "lift" to help them through the day. Too much nicotine and caffeine can cause you to feel jittery and may contribute to difficulty sleeping at night.
Anyone with a cardiovascular problem should be extremely careful about combining caffeine and nicotine as the increase in heart rate and blood pressure may be harmful. Smoking is extremely detrimental to the development of a pregnant woman's fetus, and caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage when consumed in high quantities.
Letting Go of a Coffee and Cigarette Habit
It is not easy to quit smoking and drinking coffee. Our bodies become easily accustomed to the stimulant effects of the combined nicotine and caffeine, and we don't feel normal without them. The psychological attraction of combining coffee and a cigarette also plays a role, and some individuals struggle with the loss of their old routine. None the less, the health benefits of letting go of a coffee and cigarette addiction are considerable.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be controlled with smoking cessation products such as nicotine gum, lozenges, or patches. Some people find that stopping caffeine consumption abruptly results in headaches and fatigue. Caffeine is also present in tea, some soft drinks, certain medications, and chocolate. Most health professionals recommend slowly decreasing the amount of caffeine consumed over a two to three week period, in order to reduce any unpleasant side effects associated with the lack of caffeine.
One of the most important factors when you are thinking about how to stop nicotine & caffeine involves being prepared for cravings brought on by certain behavioral cues. If you are used to the combination of coffee and a cigarette, you may discover that it is especially difficult to resist picking up a cigarette if you are drinking coffee. By planning ahead and recognizing these triggers, you increase your chance of success.
Originally published on MyAddiction.com.