Can one become addicted to tea like coffee addicts or smokers? I heard there are some common substances in tea and coffee, do they cause addiction?

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    $\begingroup$ Note that there's physiological/psychological addiction. Two very different things. $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2012 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


Yes, both tea (black tea at least, English speakers usually mean black tea when they say tea anyway) and coffee have caffeine which is addictive.

Apparently, being able to correctly reply to this question involves defining the word "addiction". My guess is that the negative connotation of the word "addiction" will cause some pressure to not use it.

Here's a recent review on caffeine addiction that says that caffeine is not addictive. I do not agree with their arguments but I'll leave it to the reader to judge.

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    $\begingroup$ Here's a decent link affirming different articles I've read before: medicinenet.com/caffeine/page2.htm Basically, carandraug is correct. Caffeine is addictive, though not to the entire population, and the withdrawal symptoms (which are basically lack of energy and headaches) rarely last more than a few days. It is NOT a narcotic that acts as a neurotransmitter (like nicotine), thus its addictive capacity and withdrawal symptoms aren't comparable. $\endgroup$
    – MCM
    Sep 9, 2012 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't green tea have caffeine, too? $\endgroup$
    – R Stephan
    Sep 10, 2012 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @rwst yes, green tea does have caffeine as well (I said black tea at least, other teas may have caffeine. But I'm sure this days, one can buy even green tea without caffeine) $\endgroup$
    – carandraug
    Sep 10, 2012 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @rwst: green tea and black tea are the same plant (the tea plant, Camelia sinensis). carandraug: I will gladly upvote this answer if you link to some study or review showing that caffeine is addictive (should not be difficult to find). $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Feb 19, 2013 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ @nico I did the opposite. I added a review that says it's not addictive and invite the reader to be critic of what they read. $\endgroup$
    – carandraug
    Feb 19, 2013 at 14:49

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