Caffeine and Nicotine What They Do to the Body and Mind Research Paper

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Caffeine and Nicotine: What They Do to the Body and Mind

Over the last several years, there has been continuing debate about the long-term impact of caffeine and tobacco consumption. This is because most people are consuming either one or both of these products on a regular basis. Various forms of research are showing that this will have an adverse impact on the underlying levels of health for the individual. To fully understand how this is happening, there will be focus on studying a number of sources in conjunction with each other. Once this takes place, is when these facts will illustrate the negative effects of these substances on the physical and mental health of the individual.

Content Outline


Summary of Current Research

Sources showing short to medium term effects

Sources illustrating the short to long-term impact on physical and mental health

Application of Psychological Addiction

Resources discussing how this is impacting the behavior of the individual.

Application of Christian Principles

1. Research that is discussing more liberal interpretations of biblical philosophy.


1. Analysis of all information that was collected and the lasting impact on health.

2. Discussion about Christian beliefs and the divisions about consumption.



Throughout human history, both caffeine and nicotine have played a major role in affecting the mental and physical state of an individual. This is because both have been shown to provide some kind of temporary relief by helping the person to feel high after consuming either drug. In most cases, these substances are contained in different products that are consumed orally to include: cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, select gum, drinks, vitamins, aspirin and certain medications. (Maisto, 2011, pp. 141 -- 188)

However, both have been shown to create changes physically, where the person will go through a series of ups and downs (after consuming either drug). This increases their dependency on these substances, with them requiring more to have a sense of normal. As a result, there has been a focus on controlling the sale and the quantities that are included in a host of products. To fully understand the impact that both can have of the body and mind requires looking at how they can affect general health. Together, these elements will highlight the positive and negative effects of these two substances on the individual. (Maisto, 2011, pp. 141 -- 188)

Summary of Current Research

To fully understand the impact that both drugs are having on the human body requires examining current research. This will be accomplished by focusing on a number of sources to include: web sites, scholarly journals, books and research studies. The combination of these factors will highlight the positive and negative effects of these two substances.

In general, both caffeine and nicotine have short-term benefits. While at the same time, they have short to long-term consequences on health. Over the shorter periods of time, both will provide some kind of temporary relief for the person. In the case of caffeine, they will have a sense of alertness and positive feelings. A good example of this can be seen with many over the counter headache medications containing caffeine (to provide temporary relief). Whereas, nicotine will help the individual to feel relaxed and it makes them more awake. This changes their underlying mental state by having a sense of empowerment and control over their thoughts / actions. (Coffman, 2011)

However, there are tremendous negative consequences from taking these substances. According to Coffman (2011), the effects of caffeine and nicotine can have a major impact upon the body to include: insomnia, addiction and anxiety. This is illustrating how both substances can have an adverse effect on the body over the short to medium term. The information from this source is highlighting how caffeine and nicotine can have short-term benefits. Yet, there are also negative consequences from consuming these substances. This is why they are included in different products and how come so many health organizations are against long-term consumption of them. (Coffman, 2011)

Over the longer periods of time, the usage of caffeine and nicotine can have negative effects on health. Evidence of this can be seen with research that was conducted by Hasan (2009). She found that both substances will have a physical and mental impact on the individual. In cases of caffeine, the negative effects can be devastating. This is because, when someone is consuming this product. They will immediately see an increase in their vital signs to include: heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. For those individuals who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure; this increases the chances that they could have some kind of: stroke or heart attack. (Hasan, 2009, pp. 17 -- 28)

Psychologically, caffeine can create a change in the mood of the individual. The way that this is accomplished is through providing the person with an immediate rush (which will have a positive impact on the brain and nervous system). This is creating empowering feelings and a sense of alertness. However, once the effect of the drug begins to wear off is when the person can go through an extreme period of: feeling tired, sluggish and depressed. These elements are illustrating how caffeine can have long-term negative impacts on the physical and mental health of the individual. (Hasan, 2009, pp. 17 -- 28)

Nicotine is considered to be a poison. In fact, just a small amount can kill an adult male within a few minutes. This has led to the usage of this compound as an insecticide in farming. However, the total amounts of nicotine that is found in: cigarettes, chewing tobacco and gum are very small. This means that there will be no immediate short-term impacts on the health of the individual. (Hasan, 2009, pp. 17 -- 28)

Over the long-term, is when these effects will become more severe leading to a number of conditions including: heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, strokes, aneurysms and it reduce the underlying levels of physical fitness. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Surgeon General and the CDC, the use of nicotine will have a negative impact on health. As 18% of deaths associated with heart disease are directly linked to cigarette smoking (which has nicotine as one of the primary ingredients). Moreover, 90% of the lung cancer related deaths are tied directly to tobacco usage. These figures are illustrating how the use of nicotine can have a negative impact on the underlying levels of health in the individual. (Hasan, 2009, pp. 17 -- 28)

Psychologically, nicotine is considered to be a psychoactive drug. This is where it will take control of the central nervous system and the brain. When consumed, the total amounts of nicotine will take a few minutes to have an impact on the behavior of the person. During this process, is when dopamine is released from the brain. This creates feelings of joy and happiness in the person. These are similar experiences that are felt by someone who is: taking cocaine or heroin. As a result, nicotine is considered to have the same kind of addictive properties as these substances. For someone who is using these products over the long-term, they will develop a dependency on their use of nicotine to help them make it through the day. This is showing how nicotine will have a negative effect on the behavior of an individual (by creating a strong addiction towards using the drug). (Hasan, 2009, pp. 17 -- 28)

Application to Psychology of Addiction

From a psychological perspective, both substances have been shown to increase the overall amounts of co-occurrence in the individual. This is because the two drugs can change the individual's state of mind enough, to where they will continue to consume them on a regular basis. In many cases, caffeine and nicotine will be used in conjunction with one another. (Tarter, 1998, pp. 102 -- 105)

Evidence of this can be seen with data that was provided by Tarter (1998). He found that that 82% of smokers will often consume products that contain high amounts of caffeine. In many cases, he determined that both substances will be used in correlation with each other. This will increase the sense of alertness and positive feelings that the person is experiencing. Over the short-term, the individual will be in a more empowering state and they will feel greater amounts of control over their lives. However, once both substances begin to wear off is when there will be change in the attitude of the person. In this case, they will become: slow, irritable, restless, impatient and nervous. To pick themselves up, they will consume more of these products. The problem is that they will have to consume larger quantities, to have the same kind of feeling. (Tarter, 1998, pp. 102 -- 105)

In the future, this can make issues of codependency worse. For example, someone who is consuming nicotine and caffeine together will begin to use more of both. When this happens, a person is trying to reach…[continue]

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