What is it about nicotine that makes you prefer coffee?

For years, most things have been told to change or kill by nicotine. But just what is it about nicotine that makes you prefer coffee? The answer is novel: cigarette-taking! In fact, a new Multicenter Study using Coffee and Nicotine Administration, published in the Journal of Kinesiology, points to an association between coffee and cigarette smoking.

The researchers took part in this possible association by conducting a cross-sectional survey of more than 4,500 smokers aged 18 to 34 years. The mean drinking age of study participants was 29 years. Out of the 4,500, 170 (20.6 percent) were men, of which 75 percent of the participants had a non smoker status. All of the participants were randomly assigned to a weekly caffeine/nicotine diet, 45 mg/day or 50 mg/day for 3 months, or to an equal continuous placebo regimen (placebo) for the same length of time.

During the post-intervention, concentrations of the two main compounds of the body’s cytoplasmic net permeability (CPN) -n-gallate and nitric oxide-in the blood were compared against a control group. In addition, the total amount of n-acetyl nicotine and low-dose nicotine in the blood was evaluated via a draft assessment paper by the investigators.

It was found that participants with high blood concentrations of n-acetyl nicotine showed a significantly lower cumulative TTN concentrations compared to the placebo-dosed group. Furthermore, the intake-level of either the coffee or n-acetyl nicotine metabolite in both coffee and nut products was significantly higher in the n-acetyl nicotine group compared to the placebo-dosed group. The difference between the two showed a level of about 55 percent, which is significantly higher than that reported previously for smokers of n-nitric oxide.

Moreover, subjects in the two COPD-2 groups all had a significantly lower amount of simultaneous usage of one or more multi-tobacco products compared to the control group, and the lowest number of cigarettes per day were found to be in the n-acetyl nicotine group.

This study is novel because its results (transcranial device blood nicotine concentrations and daily self-reported cigarettes) were collected during a single visit and not measured consistently throughout the preceding sampling period.

“Whether or not this link between coffee and smoking is biologically mediated, our results suggest the coffee concomitant administration may enhance ambient-level nicotine concentrations in smokers, potentially reducing the ability of smokers to quit smoking,” said corresponding author of this study Judith Reed of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

The study was conducted within the Monitoring Strategies and Gestational Ageing Intervention Programs (MSOG) Initiative, jointly led by the NIHR and CARE, so all colleagues were involved.