Consuming cheese, water, and broccoli may diminish the taste of cigarettes, according to the April issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research on Thursday.
The research also found that cigarette taste is enhanced after eating meat or drinking alcohol or beverages that contain caffeine.
Taken together, the discoveries raise the possibility of fashioning a so-called "smoker's diet" -- one that could help make quitting easier.
"Smoking is not just about nicotine addiction, it's also about taste and sensory qualities of smoking," said study author F. Joseph McClernon, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., U.S. "So, anything we find that can disturb or disrupt the smoking experience might make it easier for a smoker to quit."
McClernon and his colleagues found that fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and non-caffeinated drinks (such as water and juice) were among the foods most commonly cited as worsening the taste of a cigarette.
On the other hand, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and meat were most often highlighted as improving taste.
They also found that younger smokers were more sensitive to foods that worsened taste, whereas those who smoked fewer cigarettes were more susceptible to taste-enhancing foods. Those who smoked non-menthol brands were more sensitive to either kind of influence.
The researchers suggested that clinicians might want to consider advising dietary changes for patients trying to kick the habit.