Beer and Tea
I bumped into an old friend the other day. We got chatting and decided to have lunch. She ordered a green tea with salad and I ordered beer. As we hadn’t seen each other for some time we got round to discussing recent developments in our lives. I mentioned my interest in smoking cessation and that I’d set up a dedicated website. Her eyes lit up: “You must write about how tea helps to stop smoking”. I laughed. “No seriously” she said. “Green tea is a miracle drink and it really helps to quit smoking”. She could see I was sceptical but I promised to look into the possible quit smoking benefits of tea drinking. So here goes…….
Tea the Health Tonic
Tea comes in a bewildering range of types and flavours and there have been many health claims for tea, especially green tea. But is it any way helpful in the quit smoking process? It seems there are sound scientific grounds for the efficacy of green tea as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are important because they soak up chemicals which react with genetic material causing genetic change. Genetic change is important because genetic change in cells can result in cancer. So it seems that green tea helps to counteract the carcinogens in tobacco smoke. This however, is not a quit aid. In fact it might be considered by hardened smokers as an excuse not to quit. Why bother to stop smoking if drinking green tea every day protects me from lung cancer? I suspect however that green tea may offer a certain degree of protection but does offer complete protection against the toxins in tobacco. And of course it offers no help with the other health problems caused by smoking.
Teas to Stop Smoking?
Is it possible that tea, of any flavour or colour, helps in any way to alleviate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal or any other problem associated with quitting? The claims are expansive but are they true? I can find no good scientific evidence that tea drinking helps ease any of the problems associated with quitting. There is no supportive evidence that tea drinking helps to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Tea drinking is pleasant and a health tonic but, as far as I can see, no real benefit as a quit smoking aid in the hard headed practical sense. If it helps at all it is in the realm of psychology. In this way it may provide psychological support for those who believe in the power of natural products such as tea.
I guess it will probably be awhile until I see my friend again. But when we do meet up and go out for lunch, this time I’ll order tea.