Coffee and cigarettes, the world’s two greatest vices that vice great together. They go together like peas and carrots, like peanut butter and jelly… if peas and peanut butter marginally increased your lifespan while carrots and jelly significantly shortened it. Their coupling is so famous that an entire movie was made about it.
Turns out, there may be some science behind the intermingling of these strange bedfellows. A new study finds that coffee may help abate morning nicotine cravings.
As reported by Neuroscience News, the new study is the work of researchers from the University of Florida, who wanted to examine coffee’s effect on nicotine receptors. For their “cell-based” study, published recently in the journal Neuropharmacology, researchers took a solution of dark-roasted coffee and applied it to cells that “express a particular human nicotine receptor.” In the human brain, these particular receptors are highly sensitive to withdrawals that come from a night without nicotine, otherwise known as sleep. They found that two compounds in coffee “may help restore the nicotine receptor dysfunction” that leads to cravings. In other words, the coffee compounds appeared to quell the morning nicotine cravings these receptors cause.
The findings have yet to go through any animal or human trials, but they nonetheless shed light on the interplay between coffee, cigarettes, and the human brain and may help explain why so many smokers reach for a cuppa joe to go with their morning heater.
If shown to be correct, the findings may also provide a sort of roadmap for how coffee could potentially be used as a smoking secession aid, at least in how it could help would-be non-smokers deal with nicotine cravings.
Though it may be a difficult uncoupling, coffee—like you yourself—is much better off without nicotine. Luckily, coffee may also be the answer.