What Are The Symptoms Of Tobacco And Nicotine Addiction
A tobacco addiction is harder to hide than other addictions. This is largely because tobacco is legal, easily obtained, and can be consumed in public.
Some people can smoke socially or occasionally, but others become addicted. An addiction may be present if the person:
- cannot stop smoking or chewing, despite attempts to quit
- has withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit
- must smoke or chew after every meal or after long periods of time without using, such as after a movie or work meeting
- needs tobacco products to feel normal or turns to them during times of stress
- gives up activities or wont attend events where smoking or tobacco use is not allowed
- continues to smoke despite health problems
There are many treatments available for tobacco addiction. However, this addiction can be very difficult to manage. Many users find that even after nicotine cravings have passed, the ritual of smoking can lead to a relapse.
There are several different treatment options for those battling a tobacco addiction:
What Can I Do About Weight Gain
Gaining weight is common after quitting. Studies have shown that, on average, people who have never smoked weigh a few pounds more than smokers, and, when smokers quit, they attain the weight they would have had if they had never smoked .
Although most smokers gain fewer than 10 pounds after they quit smoking, the weight gain can be troublesome for some people . However, the health benefits of quitting far outweigh the health risks of a small amount of extra weight.
Here are some tips for managing weight gain:
- Ask your doctor about the medication bupropion. Studies show that it helps counter weight gain .
- Studies also show that nicotine replacement products, especially nicotine gum and lozenges, can help counter weight gain . Because some people who quit smoking increase their food intake , regular physical activity and healthy food choices can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- If weight gain is a problem, you may want to consult a nutritionist or diet counselor.
How Does The Body Become So Dependent On Nicotine
Why is nicotine so addictive? When you light up a cigarette and take a puff, you are inhaling chemicals into your body. If youve often thought that the first drag of your smoke is the best, its because your giving your body the substance it craves. Once inside your mouth, nicotine enters your bloodstream and travels straight to the brain. Did you know that nicotine will reach your brain much faster than an injected drug into your veins?
Shockingly, nicotine changes many things about your body. Your heart will beat faster, and your blood pressure increases. The metabolism changes, and many people can lose weight while smoking. Consequently, when you stop, you will notice weight changes. Lastly, the blood vessels tighten because the drug deprives the body of much-needed oxygen. The vessels adjust to try to assist the body in pumping adequate blood to all the organs.
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Why Do People Start Smoking
Most people who smoke started smoking when they were teenagers. Those who have friends and/or parents who smoke are more likely to start smoking than those who dont. Some teenagers say that they just wanted to try it, or they thought it was cool to smoke.
The tobacco industrys ads, price breaks, and other promotions for its products are a big influence in our society. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to create and market ads that show smoking as exciting, glamorous, and safe. Tobacco use is also shown in video games, online, and on TV. And movies showing people smoking are another big influence. Studies show that young people who see smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking.
A newer influence on tobacco use is the e-cigarette and other high-tech, fashionable electronic vaping devices. Often wrongly seen as harmless, and easier to get and use than traditional tobacco products, these devices are a way for new users to learn how to inhale and become addicted to nicotine, which can prepare them for smoking.
Is Smoking Tobacco Really Addictive
Addiction is marked by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance despite its harmful effects and unwanted consequences. Addiction is mental or emotional dependence on a substance. Nicotine is the known addictive substance in tobacco. Regular use of tobacco products leads to addiction in many users. Nicotine is a drug that occurs naturally in tobacco and its thought to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
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Can Withdrawal Symptoms Be Prevented
Unfortunately, everyone who has been a regular user of tobacco products experiences some degree of withdrawal when they quit. Your healthcare provider can recommend over-the-counter or prescription products to ease your withdrawal symptoms. These products, however, mostly target cravings or urges. There are some behavioral strategies you can try to curb other withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Drink fluid or eat fiber-rich foods to ease constipation.
- Drink fluids to relieve cough.
- Perform deep breathing exercises to ease chest tightness.
- Drink water, chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy to ease dry mouth and sore throat.
- Organize your work in advance, take a few breaks to help with concentration issues.
- Get plenty of sleep, take short naps as needed to counter fatigue.
- Change positions slowly to help adjust to dizziness.
- Drink lots of water and eat a low-calorie, healthy snack to fight hunger.
- Dont drink caffeinated beverages and products several hours before bedtime, listen to calming music and turn off electronic devices to help you sleep.
- Practice relaxation techniques, take a warm bath or go for a walk to reduce irritability.
- Review other non-medication tips listed in the previous question.
Tobacco Nicotine And E
Yes. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, even in the face of negative health consequences. The majority of smokers would like to stop smoking, and each year about half try to quit permanently. Yet, only about 6 percent of smokers are able to quit in a given year.25 Most smokers will need to make multiple attempts before they are able to quit permanently.22 Medications including varenicline, and some antidepressants , and nicotine-replacement therapy, can help in many cases .26
A transient surge of endorphins in the reward circuits of the brain causes a slight, brief euphoria when nicotine is administered. This surge is much briefer than the “high” associated with other drugs. However, like other drugs of abuse, nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in these reward circuits,20,21,27 which reinforces the behavior of taking the drug. Repeated exposure alters these circuits’ sensitivity to dopamine and leads to changes in other brain circuits involved in learning, stress, and self-control. For many tobacco users, the long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction, which involves withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, and difficulty adhering to the resolution to quit.28,29
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Addiction To Smokeless Tobacco
Most cessation studies define a “regular user” as someone who has used SLT daily for the past year. Schroeder and colleagues suggest categorizing the SLT user as a light, moderate, or heavy user according to the amount of nicotine consumed per week from chewing tobacco or snuff products. Other measures of the pattern of SLT use and addiction have been adapted from the smoking cessation literature. The FagerstrÃ¶m Tolerance Questionnaire has been adapted and used with a scale applicable to SLT users by simply converting cigarette-based items to SLT-use items, for example, “I chew or dip first thing in the morning or within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.” The scale has been validated by its correlation with saliva cotinine. Some items of this scale have been positively correlated with self-reported severity of nicotine withdrawal.
How Can I Get Help Quitting Tobacco
NCI and other agencies and organizations can help smokers quit:
- Go online to Smokefree.gov, a website created by NCIâs Tobacco Control Research Branch, and use the step-by-step personalized quit plan.
- Call NCIâs Smoking Quitline at 1â877â44UâQUIT for individualized counseling, printed information, and referrals to other sources.
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A Quiz: Are You Addicted To Cigarettes
This short quiz can help you determine whether or not you are addicted to cigarettes. Answer with either yes or no. Tally up your yes and no answers, and then read the summary after the quiz to understand the results.
If you answered yes to even one of those questions, chances are good you are addicted to smoking. To learn more about the signs of smoking addiction, .
Coping With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Once you stop smoking, youll likely experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine. Nicotine withdrawal begins quickly, usually starting within an hour of the last cigarette and peaking two to three days later. Withdrawal symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person.
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Production Of Tobacco Products
Tobacco products in the United States are made by blending different types of tobacco leaf, to which sugar and other flavorings are added. Lighter tobaccos, which are found in most American cigarettes, produce acidic smoke when burned. Darker tobaccos, such as are used in cigar and pipe tobacco, produce alkaline smoke. As discussed elsewhere, the pH of the smoke determines the extent to which nicotine will be absorbed through the mouth.
In addition to different types of shredded tobacco leaf, tobacco sheet or reconstituted tobacco is also blended into many cigarettes. Tobacco sheet uses scraps and stems of tobacco as well as various additives, which are combined into a homogeneous mixture that can then be incorporated into tobacco. The manufacturing of tobacco sheet allows for production of a relatively uniform composition of tobacco, since additives can be used to achieve the end product.
Starter products and distribution of free samples might introduce users to a graduation process of moving from low-nicotine to higher-nicotine snuff products. For example, products low in nicotine and low in pH and products sold in a teabag-like unit dose, would make it easier for first-time users to adapt to snuff products. The use of such low-nicotine-delivery products could be the beginning of a graduated process toward nicotine addiction.
Why Am I Addicted To Cigarettes
Smoking serves as the classic example of addiction because not only is it legal, but also detrimental to your health as soon as you puff . It’s a maladaptive response to stress or something else that is bothering you. Why maladaptive? Because when you finish the cigarette or the jaw of tobacco, the stress or boss is still there. And while the hydrocarbons do damage to the rest of your body, the vehicle of nicotine is the addictive part. Regardless of how nicotine reaches the bloodstream, it’s distributed through the brain and body where it activates receptors called cholinergic receptors. Nicotine changes these receptors so that a regular user needs to continue to get nicotine to have normal functioning of the brain – and stopping can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Plus, nicotine stimulates the release of the reward-seeking chemical dopamine – which supports the pleasure that many smokers feel, and which makes it so dang hard to stop. That underscores the point that addictive behaviors can change our brain chemistry in ways that makes the addiction nearly impossible to break.
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Assembly Of The Cohort
Considerations of statistical power and anticipated attrition indicated that a minimum initial sample size of 650 would be required to allow for planned regression analyses. With the approval of the committee for the protection of human subjects in research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the parents of all seventh graders were sent two letters describing the study and were asked to respond if they did not want their child to participate. All students who were not eliminated by this process were assigned random numbers, and the first 650 were invited to participate. Prior tobacco use did not preclude participation. Students who declined to participate were replaced by continuing down the list of random numbers until 650 had agreed to participate. The initial 650 interviews were completed ahead of schedule, allowing the sample size to be expanded to 681 as additional students were sequentially invited to participate based upon their random number assignment. Subjects were told that the study concerned tobacco, and those who assented to participate were promised confidentiality. No subjects were added after the first set of interviews were completed in March 1998. The third interviews were completed in December 1998.
Prepare Before You Go ‘cold Turkey’
Thereâs more to it than just tossing your cigarettes out. Smoking is an addiction. The brain is hooked on nicotine. Without it, youâll go through withdrawal. Line up support in advance. Ask your doctor about all the methods that will help, such as quit-smoking classes and apps, counseling, medication, and hypnosis. Youâll be ready for the day you choose to quit.
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What Can I Do About Nicotine Cravings
As a smoker, you get used to having a certain level of nicotine in your body. You control that level by how much you smoke, how deeply you inhale the smoke, and the kind of tobacco you use. When you quit, cravings develop when your body wants nicotine. It takes time to break free from nicotine addiction. Also, when you see people smoking or are around other triggers, you may get nicotine cravings. Cravings are real. They are not just in your imagination. At the same time, your mood may change, and your heart rate and blood pressure may go up.
The urge to smoke will come and go. Cravings usually last only a very brief period of time. Cravings usually begin within an hour or two after you have your last cigarette, peak for several days, and may last several weeks. As the days pass, the cravings will get farther apart. Occasional mild cravings may last for 6 months.
Here are some tips for managing cravings:
- Remind yourself that they will pass.
- Avoid situations and activities that you used to associate with smoking.
- As a substitute for smoking, try chewing on carrots, pickles, apples, celery, sugarless gum, or hard candy. Keeping your mouth busy may stop the psychological need to smoke.
- Try this exercise: Take a deep breath through your nose and blow out slowly through your mouth. Repeat 10 times.
- Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement products or other medications.
The Cycle Of The Smoking Habit
The cycle of the smoking habit and nicotine addiction is one that many find hard to quit. Thankfully, there are safer options to get your fix, like vaping. The more you smoke, the more your body needs to sustain those pleasurable feelings. Over time, you will develop a smoking routine that integrates with social activities, work schedules, and other triggers.
For instance, as soon as the phone rings, you may grab a cup of coffee and light-up as a source of habit. You probably arent even aware that youre doing these things because they become second nature.
Triggers are another significant part of nicotine addiction. Do you notice that when you are stressed out, you reach for your cigarettes to calm you down? If the problems of the day are grating on your nerves, you may find solace in a couple of cigarettes in the great outdoors.
The cycle of smoking means that if you want to keep feeling the pleasure that calms you down, you need to keep smoking. Once you break that cycle, your body goes through withdrawal.
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How Long Does It Take To Break A Cigarette Addiction
Experts agree it takes about two weeks to break a cigarette addiction. That length of time can vary according to the individual, but thats about as long as it takes for the body to adapt to life without nicotine.
Psychological symptoms and cravings can persist well after the initial two weeks. Some smokers claim they still feel urges to smoke years later. Resisting those urges by distracting yourself, talking to a friend, going for a walk, sipping some water or engaging in other activities is vital. It is possible to relapse and start smoking again even after quitting for a long period of time.
If you are a smoker and want to quit, there are many ways to get help. Most states offer programs to help people quit smoking. Hospitals also offer smoking cessation programs. You can also join a self-help group, taper off cigarettes yourself, or talk to your doctor about other options to quit smoking.
What Are The Most Common Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. How severe your symptoms are depends on how frequently you use a nicotine product and the amount of nicotine in the product you use.
Common symptoms include:
- Constipation and gas or diarrhea.
- Cough, dry mouth, sore throat and nasal drip.
- Chest tightness.
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The Daily Nicotine Addiction Cycle
Given the pharmacologic properties of nicotine, a daily cycle of addiction can be described as follows. The first cigarette of the day produces substantial pharmacologic effects , but simultaneously the brain’s chemistry changes and tolerance begins to develop. With subsequent cigarettes, nicotine accumulates in the body and is associated with the development of a greater level of tolerance. Withdrawal symptoms become more pronounced between successive cigarettes. The tolerance that develops over the day may be partially overcome by the transiently high brain levels of nicotine that occur immediately after the smoking of individual cigarettes, but the primary pleasurable effects of individual cigarettes tend to lessen throughout the day. As the day progresses, people tend to smoke more to relieve the symptoms of abstinence. Overnight abstinence allows considerable resensitization to the actions of nicotine, and the cycle begins again the next day.