Is Caffeine As Bad As Nicotine & Does Nicotine Make You Fat?

Caffeine is a natural substance belonging to xanthine group of compounds and works as a central nervous system stimulant in the body. It is the most commonly abused substance in the world. It is found in various common food products like tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, energy drinks, soft drinks, etc. It produces similar symptoms like that of nicotine but in a mild form and only for a short period of time. It can improve concentration, alertness, increased metabolism, reduce sleepiness, decrease in fatigue, etc.[1] It is commonly abused by athletes and other sports persons for improving the performance and basal metabolism of the body. Since it cannot be detected with high precision in the body and can be found normally, it becomes difficult to, its concentration in the blood.

Is Caffeine As Bad As Nicotine?

Is Caffeine As Bad As Nicotine?

Caffeine has a very mild effect on central nervous system (CNS) as compared to nicotine which is a powerful CNS stimulant. It has a toxic dose of above 10 grams which is way larger than the normal consumption of an adult whereas exact toxic a for nicotine is not known but the common methods of nicotine intake do not induce its toxicity. Caffeine produces mild psychological dependence and produces only psychological symptoms like craving on stoppage of intake whereas nicotine produces both psychological and physical dependence with presentation of craving as well as withdrawal symptoms on abrupt stoppage of its usage.

All the research studies which were comparing caffeine and nicotine for their effects and side effects have found that nicotine is very much addictive and away more dangerous than the caffeine which is only a mildly addictive substance. Caffeine is not rated as bad as nicotine when compared for their away effects.

Does Nicotine Make You Fat?

Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant which acts via various neurotransmitters to produce effects such as increased attention, increased concentration, tachycardia (palpitations), decreased appetite, etc. Since its usage helps to reduce appetite and reduces the blood supply to the gastrointestinal symptoms and divert it towards the brain, it commonly leads to loss of weight. It is concluded by various studies that the usage of nicotine do not increase the fat amount it leads to loss of weight and shreds the extra fat.

However, if the nicotine usage mildly abruptly it causes rebound of the opposite nature of symptoms to that of effects of nicotine, these are collectively known as withdrawal syndrome. In nicotine withdrawal there can be increased appetite which can ultimately lead to weight gain and fat deposition in the body. Since the withdrawal is a short term event lasting only for few weeks so the proportional weight gain is not very high in that period but the permanent modulation of receptors for increased metabolic rate would take some time to downregulate themselves and this period could last for few months. In this period the weight gain is seen along with inappropriate fat deposition and asymmetrical distribution. The onset of depression in the withdrawal phase can also precipitate the weight gain due to decreased metabolic rate.[2]


Although the caffeine is also a central nervous system stimulant like the nicotine and also produces similar effects resembling with that of nicotine a striking difference between them is that all the effects of caffeine are much milder than that of nicotine. Caffeine is lesser addictive in nature and does not show any withdrawal symptoms commonly and there is no need for replacement or substitution therapy for caffeine. Whereas nicotine produces withdrawal symptoms as well as also requires nicotine replacement therapy to eliminate the addiction. It is concluded by most of the studies that caffeine is not as much bad as nicotine even after comparing on various different aspects of both substances. Nicotine is associated with weight loss and decreased appetite during its addiction and main cause rebound weight gain and increased appetite in its withdrawal phase.


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