Smokers may lose ability to taste caffeine

Coffee and cigarettes might not go together as well as we think. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Smokers who like coffee might not know what they’re missing.

Most people can detect the bitter taste of caffeine even at very low levels.

But one in five smokers, even those who smoked and then quit, lose their ability to recognize the flavor of caffeine.

It’s generally acknowledged that smoking causes a loss of taste. This research in the journal Chemosensory Perception finds smokers don’t “recognize” the bitter flavor of caffeine.

Smokers’ perception of salty, sweet or sour tastes is unaffected according to the study.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

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