Chai Sutta

It is a ritual that we see all around the world. It is an afternoon break to gear up for the second half of the very long day at work. It’s a break with a cup of tea or coffee with a cigarette accompanied by some gossip, heated debates, and some complaining about the boss. It is a time to unwind to keep up for the rest of the day, and what better than the kick of a cigarette and jolt of that hot beverage?

What does that tea/coffee/cigarette do exactly? How does this sutta (cigarette) and chai break refresh your mind? As much as it helps, does it harm us more? Imagine not getting that tea and that smoke throughout the day!

Classification of Drugs:

Drugs are classified according to their effects in 3 categories

  1. Depressants
  2. Stimulants
  3. Hallucinogens

Tea, coffee, cigarettes, tobacco, cocaine, methamphetamines, and ecstasy are types of stimulants. Now, tea and coffee are a part of our regular day to day life. To a point, we are dependent on that daily fix. Ever wondered why? The primary effect of stimulant drugs is to produce a general increase in neural and behavioral activity. They speed up the central nervous system; it accelerates the messages between our brain and body, due to which, one feels more alert, energetic, and more capable of concentrating. Although, a substantially high amount of intake of stimulants have some compromising effects on our physical health such as high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, fatigue, digestion problems.

Let’s break this down.

Caffeine– It is one of the most common psychoactive substances. It is a gentle stimulant which is the least harmful amongst stimulants. But, like all other substances, excess of caffeine also has its adverse effects. In an appropriate amount, caffeine has its health benefits. It helps to elevate your mood, reduce drowsiness, and makes you more energetic. However, a large amount of caffeine intake can induce insomnia, agitation, and jittery behaviour. Excess intake can also develop a tolerance for it; which further increases the caffeine intake.

Tobacco– Nicotine in tobacco is the psychoactive substance that produces the pattern of dependence tolerance and withdrawal. In small doses, nicotine relieves stress and helps to improve mood. But even in small amounts there are dreadful effects of smoking on our physical health. Due to the addictive nature of nicotine the tobacco intake is never limited to small doses, which further leads to negative effects on one’s mental health. Nicotine activates the receptors in the brain that releases dopamine which gives a sense of pleasure, which becomes the main cause for nicotine addiction. When you try to quit smoking, there are some significant withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depressed mood, restlessness.

I don’t want to be a party pooper and take away the comfort of that cup of tea/ coffee from you though. But I would just like to say that enjoying that cup of warmth happens only if it’s out of pleasure, not need.

And lastly, our HEALTHY life is too precious to smoke it away into ashes!

Take it easy,


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