Overview Of Nicotine Addiction And Tobacco
The nicotine in tobacco products can cause addiction similar to alcohol, cocaine, and morphine.
Commonly Associated With
Withdrawal from nicotine; Smoking – nicotine addiction and withdrawal; Smokeless tobacco – nicotine addiction; Cigar smoking; Pipe smoking; Smokeless snuff; Tobacco use; Chewing tobacco; Nicotine addiction and tobacco
Causes Of Nicotine Addiction And Tobacco
Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are smoked, chewed, or sniffed.
Tobacco contains a chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance.
Millions of people in the United States have been able to quit smoking. Although the number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped in recent years, the number of smokeless tobacco users has steadily increased. Smokeless tobacco products are either placed in the mouth, cheek, or lip and sucked or chewed on, or placed in the nasal passage. The nicotine in these products is absorbed at the same rate as smoking tobacco, and addiction is still very strong.
Both smoking and smokeless tobacco use carry many health risks.
Nicotine use can have many different effects on the body. It can:
- Decrease the appetite — Fear of weight gain makes some people unwilling to stop smoking.
- Boost mood, give people a sense of well-being, and possibly even relieve minor depression.
- Increase activity in the intestines.
- Create more saliva and phlegm.
- Increase the heart rate by around 10 to 20 beats per minute.
- Increase blood pressure by 5 to 10 mm Hg.
- Possibly cause sweating, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Stimulate memory and alertness — People who use tobacco often depend on it to help them accomplish certain tasks and perform well.
Symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine addiction appear within 2 to 3 hours after you last use tobacco. People who smoked the longest or smoked a greater number of cigarettes each day are more likely to have withdrawal symptoms. For those who are quitting, symptoms peak about 2 to 3 days later.
Common symptoms include:
- Intense craving for nicotine
- Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
- Bad dreams and nightmares
- Feeling tense, restless, or frustrated
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Problems concentrating
You may notice some or all of these symptoms when switching from regular to low-nicotine cigarettes or reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Treatment Of Nicotine Addiction And Tobacco
It is hard to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco, but anyone can do it. There are many ways to quit smoking.
There are also resources to help you quit. Family members, friends, and co-workers may be supportive. Quitting tobacco is hard if you are trying to do it alone.
To be successful, you must really want to quit. Most people who have quit smoking were unsuccessful at least once in the past. Try not to view past attempts as failures. See them as learning experiences.
Most smokers find it hard to break all the habits they have created around smoking.
A smoking cessation program may improve your chance of success. These programs are offered by hospitals, health departments, community centers, worksites, and national organizations.
Nicotine replacement therapy may also be helpful. It involves the use of products that provide low doses of nicotine, but none of the toxins found in smoke. Nicotine replacement comes in the form of:
- Throat lozenges
- Nasal spray
- Skin patches
- You can buy many types of nicotine replacements without a prescription.
Your health care provider can also prescribe other types of medicines to help you quit. Varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin) are prescription medications that affect the nicotine receptors in the brain.
The goal of these therapies is to relieve cravings associated with nicotine addition and tobacco. They will ease your withdrawal symptoms.
Health experts warn that e-cigarettes are not a replacement therapy for cigarette smoking. It is not known exactly how much nicotine is in e-cigarette cartridges because information on labels is often wrong.