How can you use tea to quit smoking? 

You may be surprised by how many ways the simple, affordable, and delicious use of tea to quit smoking can make a big difference managing the complex issue of addition to nicotine.

Why Do People Smoke?

There are many people that smoke, and many of the people that do smoke want to quit.  However, due to a number of factors, which include psychological, physical, and social reasons.

Despite these reasons, there are people that have found success when attempting to quit smoking.  While this is definitely a challenge, it can be done, and tea can help.

Why is it so Hard to Quit?

The first question that people want to know the answer to is why it is that it is difficult to quit smoking.  There are a number of reasons for this, and it varies a little bit from person to person based on biochemistry, personal habits, and there are some situational factors as well.

However, despite these differences, there is one key common factor that is present; people smoke largely because of the addiction to nicotine.

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that causes the brain to produce dopamine, which causes euphoric feelings.  The result is that smoking causes a feeling of euphoria, and the brain gets addicted to this artificial euphoric feeling, resulting in the body’s addiction to smoking.  This same euphoric feeling is why the body goes through withdrawal symptoms; when the brain is deprived of brain chemicals that make it happy, it becomes cranky, and then it takes this crankiness out on your body.

The problem has been presented; the need for a constant stream of feel good chemicals keeps the body addicted to a substance that is unhealthy and is delivered by a means that is known to cause significant ill effects on one’s health.

Simple Solutions With Tea

While this is a difficult process, as stated, it is possible to quit smoking.  There are a few things that are proven to be helpful from a medical standpoint:

  • Cleanse the Body
  • Drink Water
  • Exercise
  • Make Dietary Changes
  • Consume Natural, Good Quality Oils and Herbs

Now, we cannot help you with the exercise aspect, and we are limited in how we can assist you with changing your diet.  However, we do have the ability to assist you in all other areas that will help in quitting smoking.

And yes, this is through the consumption of tea.

How Does  Drinking Tea Tie-in?

Tea can tie into the possible solutions for quitting smoking.  Tea is processed in the body like water, it can cleanse the body of toxins, and many teas have oils and herbs that may be beneficial to your efforts to quit smoking.


Cleansing the liver is one of the best ways to start to clear out any toxins within the body, and this would include nicotine. Look for a detox tea that contains some of the key ingredients that stimulate the liver, including Fennel, Coriander, Milk Thistle and Dandelion.

Japanese Green tea - Kagoshima, 88th Night

Green Tea

Shaded Green tea, such as Gyokuro, contains more chlorophyll than other teas.  Chlorophyll helps to detoxify your body by connecting with the toxins and free radicals and turning them into neutral materials. Studies have shown that it helps in cleaning heavy metals that tend to accumulate in our body in different places, such as cadmium and mercury, pesticides and industrial pollutants, thus helping to detoxify it.

Dietary Changes

Perhaps this is better noted as “dietary understanding”, but either way, it is vital to understand what is in your body, and how what it interacts with your body chemistry.

The biggest concern with this is Vitamin C.  Vitamin C interacts in strange ways with nicotine, and this interaction is often what causes the smoker to be sick more frequently and for longer durations of time than non-smokers.

Nicotine has a tendency to attack and destroy Vitamin C, which most people know is an effective anti-oxidant.  The reason that this makes quitting difficult is that a lack of Vitamin C within the body results in an increase in chemical dependency.  Without the Vitamin C to clear out the toxins that are present in the blood, the body begins to feel as if the nicotine is a natural part of the body, which increases the withdrawal effects that result from attempting to quit smoking.

To assist with this part of quitting, you will want to start to consume high amounts of Vitamin C.  Luckily, this is a water soluble vitamin, so there is no risk of liver damage from overconsumption.  Naturally, you will want to consume additional water with Vitamin C, so tea is ideal, as there are many herbal and fruit teas that are loaded with Vitamin C that will hydrate you (which you will remember from above… this helps you quit!) as well as go to battle with the nicotine in your system to help with the withdrawal symptoms.

Along with the dietary understanding and dietary changes, it is important to realize that studies have proven that coffee makes cigarettes more desirable.  However, most of us need the caffeine boost that we are used to so that we can get through our day.  To help with this, simply replace that cup of coffee with a cup or two of tea.  The astringent nature of tea does not combine well with the taste that is present in cigarette smoke, which may help to reduce cravings.

Ideally, if you were going to select teas to assist with these changes, select a strong and robust black or Pu-erh tea to help with the caffeine needs, and you would pick a fruit tisane to assist you with consuming more Vitamin C. Look for Tisanes that contain Rosehip, Citrus, and Hibiscus.

Herbs and Oils

Natural herbs and oils that are safe to consume are great for the body.  Many of the herbs used as teas are easy for the body to breakdown, and they work well with natural biochemistry, which may help your body to recover more quickly from the withdrawal symptoms when you want to quit smoking.

Peppermint tisane -peppermint tea leaves in cup.

For example, when you try to quit smoking, one of the first issues that you often face is difficulty breathing.  This is temporary, but it is common since your lungs are no longer used to having very hot smoke enter them.  A way to help with this is with peppermint oil, which is found in a variety of foods.  To maintain the idea of hydration while getting the needed essential oils, we do recommend peppermint tea for this.  The heat of the tea will loosen the chest while the peppermint oil will help the lungs to begin to adjust to the changes.

In addition to peppermint oil, bergamot oil has been shown to help prevent nicotine cravings.  The good news is that we have a line of 6 different Earl Grey teas, and all of them contain Bergamot oil.  The use of an Earl Grey tea can, therefore, hydrate you while offering an oil that is proven to help combat the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with giving up the smoking habit.

Why not start with tea to quit smoking?

While it would be difficult to give up smoking regardless of what it is that you do, the fact is that there are natural, low-cost, and highly effective options that are available to you.

Why not start with tea?  The health benefits and the flavor options offer a wide range of choices to help you to quit smoking.  The tea could become a habit that is good for your body, and this habit may help you in staying off the cigarettes once you have quit.

To your health, and good luck!

Woman drinking tea from plastic bottle

This article by Kevin Borowsky has been updated from the original June 6, 2016 publication.