If you feel jittery, extra anxious or are having trouble sleeping after a few days, take a look at your caffeine consumption levels. As shown by the below study, nicotine doubles the rate at which the body depletes caffeine and some caffeine users may find that they cannot tolerate caffeine consumption at pre-quitting levels. If you are feeling extra anxious or jittery you may want to experiment with reducing the quantity or strength of caffeinated drinks or products. If you are not having these difficulties it probably is not important to alter anything now.
As previously discussed there is also a nicotine/alcohol interaction. Nicotine is an alkaloid and alcohol an acid generating event within the body. When chewers drink alcohol it causes them to lose nicotine at an accelerated pace thus resulting in heavier chewing while drinking. Although the situation is similar to caffeine there is one huge difference. Alcohol makes you lose nicotine, thus being responsible for making dippers chew more when drinking.
Nicotine on the other hand interferes with the body’s ability to absorb and utilize caffeine, often resulting in a person using more caffeine in order to maintain their minimum needed level. When they quit chewing and continue to consume the exact same amount of caffeine they could find themselves actually overdosing on caffeine.
So look closely at caffeine if symptoms persist longer than a few days. You don’t need to get rid of it all together but just keep it in doses that will not cause unwanted effects. Your general state will likely be calmer and you’ll experience a feeling of overall well-being that you should be able to maintain for the rest of your life.
The impact of caffeine use on tobacco cessation and withdrawal.
Addictive Behavior 1997 Jan-Feb;22(1): pages 55-68
Swanson JA, Lee JW, Hopp JW, Berk LS.
“Continuous caffeine consumption with chewing cessation has been associated with more than doubled caffeine plasma levels. Such concentrations may be sufficient to produce caffeine toxicity symptoms in chewing abstinence conditions. To test whether caffeine abstinence influences tobacco cessation, 162 caffeine-using nicotine users were enlisted from American Lung Association cessation programs. Volunteers were randomly assigned by clinic to caffeine-use and caffeine-abstinence conditions and measured for 3 weeks post-chewing cessation, at 6 months and one year. Results showed a significant linear increase in caffeine sputum levels across 3 weeks post cessation for those who quit chewing and continued using caffeine. Three weeks after cessation, concentrations reached 203% of baseline for the caffeine user.”
© Joel Spitzer 2005
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.