The reason for the difficulty of quitting tobacco is nicotine, a highly addictive substance. Every time you smoke a cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate increase for a short time, creating some euphoria. Nicotine addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to stop.
Nicotine is one of the chemicals that are present in tobacco products, and is responsible for making smokers experience “euphoria” for about 10 seconds after smoking a cigarette. The effect does not last long, so a person with an addiction needs to smoke another cigarette.
What is nicotine addiction?
Nicotine dependence – also called tobacco dependence – is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the nicotine drug. A person who is addicted to nicotine cannot stop using the substance, even though it is causing harm.
Nicotine produces physical effects and changes in the brain that result in a short feeling of well-being. These effects create the desire to use tobacco and lead to dependence. At the same time, stopping tobacco use can cause withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and anxiety.
While tobacco nicotine is the substance that causes dependence, the toxic effects of tobacco result from other substances found in tobacco products. Smokers have much higher rates of developing heart disease, cancer and having strokes than people who do not smoke.
No matter how long you have smoked, quitting smoking can improve your health. Many effective treatments for nicotine dependence are available to help you manage withdrawal symptoms and quit smoking forever. Ask your doctor how to get help.
Signs of nicotine dependence
Most people who smoke become addicted to nicotine. Someone who has become addicted to nicotine may have cravings for smoking, has difficulty quitting smoking, and has withdrawal symptoms when trying to do so. Some people feel irritated when they don’t have a cigarette, while others find it difficult to concentrate without them.
Signs that you can be addicted include:
- You can not quit smoking. He has tried more times, but without success, to stop smoking.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. Your attempts to quit smoking have caused physical symptoms related to mood, such as strong cravings, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, depression, frustration, anger, increased appetite, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea.
- You still smoke despite health problems. Although you have problems with your lungs or heart, you have not been able to stop your tobacco use.
- Waiver of social or recreational activities in order to smoke. You can stop going to restaurants where you can’t smoke or stop socializing with certain family members or friends because you can’t smoke with them.
The causes of this dependence
Nicotine causes addiction, since it affects the brain to make it produce a greater amount of the chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has a lot to do with the way a person feels pleasure. When dopamine levels drop, the nicotine addict may feel depressed and needs another cigarette to feel good again.
A person who smokes puts additional strain on their heart each time they smoke a cigarette. Cigarettes also contain carbon monoxide, which makes it harder for the body to get the oxygen it needs. To compensate for this effect, blood flow to the extremities is reduced.
Smokers have bad breath, stained teeth and fingers, and experience a decrease in resistance to colds and flu. The sense of smell and taste of the nicotine addict are less sensitive than those of a person who does not smoke. Appetite is reduced too.
Complications and effects of long-term nicotine abuse
Smoking causes cancer in several parts of the body, including the lungs, mouth, throat and larynx. It also increases the chances of developing heart disease or suffering a person’s brain accident. Nicotine addiction has been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Approximately half of the people who smoke will die as a result of their habit.
Nicotine addicts lose their hair and develop wrinkles earlier than those who don’t smoke. Men who use tobacco may have fertility problems, and women who use tobacco products have a higher risk of miscarriage, may have a low birth weight baby, or have a premature delivery. They may also have painful menstrual periods or an irregular cycle.
Help and treatment for nicotine addiction
When a person who is addicted to nicotine is ready to quit smoking, there are a number of treatment options available. Some people are able to choose a date and quit smoking suddenly, but few are successful. One option is to use a nicotine patch to relieve cravings for this substance.
You also have the option of using a prescription medication to help you quit smoking. Talk to your doctor to ask what medications to quit smoking exist. Nicotine gum or an inhaler can help you not need nicotine.
Nicotine recovery and rehabilitation
Within 20 minutes after the last cigarette, the body begins to change. Pulse rate and blood pressure return to normal levels. After three days, your body will be free of nicotine. After three weeks, nicotine can no longer control you.