Tolerance Dependence And Withdrawal
Nicotine is extremely addictive and, when used regularly, your body and mind learn to expect a certain amount of nicotine each dayand if it doesn’t get it, withdrawal can be intense. You can quickly build a tolerance to nicotine, needing more to reach the desired effect. This is one reason why it’s so hard to quit smoking.
What The Experts Say
Many researchers are beginning to question whether nicotine is any more harmful than a daily dose of caffeine.
To date, there have been studies showing positive effects of nicotine, including decreased tension and increased thinking, as well as the stimulant’s potential in warding off cognitive decline into Alzheimer’s, delaying the progression of Parkinson’s disease, and as a therapeutic approach for ADHD and schizophrenia.
Still, health professionals continue to warn about the dangers of nicotine, especially when used by adolescents whose brains are still developing .
Nicotine impacts the parts of the brain that play a role in attention, memory, learning, and brain plasticity.
While cigarette smoking is on the decline, vaping and e-cigarettes are on the rise. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that “e-cigarettes are threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine.”
Be Prepared To Defeat Triggers
Physical withdrawal from nicotine triggers the urge to smoke. Once nicotine is gone from the bloodstream, triggers shift over to the mental associations you have built up over the years. From the first cup of coffee in the morning to the last thing you do before bed, smoking has become a part of who you are.
Triggers will often appear seemingly out of the blue and cause powerful urges to smoke. These can make you feel like youre back in the midst of physical withdrawal, even though there is no nicotine present in your body any longer. With practice, you can break down old habits and create new ones that are much healthier.
- Distract yourself. Keep your hands busy with a hobby. Making a list of things to do instead of smoking will allow you to quickly switch to one of those activities.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand to help you with the hand-to-mouth association of smoking.
- Avoid drinking alcoholor being around smokers. The time will come when drinking or being around people who are smoking wont bother you, but dont expect it within the first several weeks of smoking cessation.
- Learn to decipher smoking urges. Once you begin to understand what your body is signaling when you experience an urge to smoke, you can make better choices that will become automatic in time.
You May Like: What Am I Addicted To
Don’t Miss: What To Do When Child Is Addicted To Video Games
What Does It Make You Feel & What Does Nicotine Feel Like
Nicotine travels to your brain quickly. Once there, it makes you feel a whole lot of things. One of the most common is its mood-changing effect. Most people want to know, What does a nicotine buzz feel like? Many describe this as a subdued, strong and complex effect that allows many to stay alert and concentrate. There are also a lot of individuals who can attest to how it makes them feel relaxed. They have this sense of calmness.
How does this happen? The substance triggers a part of the brain that makes you feel elated and happy, which then stimulates the hormone dopamine to be set free. This release is what is perceived as the origin of the pleasurable sensations you experience when an inhalation is done. So, in a way, does nicotine get you high? And, what does an nicotine high feel like?
Dopamine plays a big role in terms of feeling pleasure and has a powerful role in addiction. This is what is happening when inhaling nicotine. The activation of dopamine has resulted in dependency on the substance.
So, no matter what you actually know about nicotine, your defenses against it are too low given how it works in your brain. You add to this the feeling of gratification, reduction of inhibition, and increased focus.
Why Is It So Hard To Quit Tobacco
Stopping or cutting back on tobacco causes symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Withdrawal is both physical and mental. Physically, your body is reacting to the absence of nicotine. Mentally, you are faced with giving up a habit, which calls for a major change in behavior. Emotionally, you might feel like as if youve lost your best friend. Studies have shown that smokeless tobacco users have as much trouble giving up tobacco as people who want to quit smoking cigarettes.
People who have used tobacco regularly for a few weeks or longer will have withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop or greatly reduce the amount they use. Theres no danger in nicotine withdrawal, but the symptoms can be uncomfortable. They usually start within a few hours and peak about 2 to 3 days later when most of the nicotine and its by-products are out of the body. Withdrawal symptoms can last a few days to up to several weeks. They get better every day that a person stays tobacco-free.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can include any of the following:
- Feelings of frustration, impatience, and anger
- Trouble sleeping, including trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and having bad dreams or even nightmares
- Trouble concentrating
Recommended Reading: Is My Kid Addicted To Video Games
Tip 7 Get Rid Of All Vape Gear
Having anything related to vaping around only tempts fate. Make sure to cleanse your home, car, work, and all personal effects of anything to do with cigarettes or vapes.
Immediately after making the decision to quit vaping, get rid of all electronic e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape juice refill cartridges, and anything else that might make you think about it.
You are a non-smoker now and you dont need anything related to vaping, so be clear on your decision and get rid of all vape gear.
Living a vape-free/smoke-free life gives you a newly found freedom. But dont confuse freedom and compulsion, they are two different things. Remember you made the wise choice to stop vaping, so take a moment to congratulate yourself every time you think about it.
First Of All Dont Smoke
Set a list of more important things in life that has been affected by your smoking habits to make yourself more determined to quit smoking. For example, you cant take care of your family more properly because a thousand of dollars a year have been threw from your account to pay for cigarettes or your beloved family can become a victim of second-hand smoking cause of nearly 1 million deaths every year .
The longer tobacco stays in your system, the more serious consequences it can bring to your health. To prevent bad health effects caused by smoking, take a look at this article to find out HOW LONG DOES TOBACCO STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM.
If you havent tried that stick of dead, never try it then. Some people may stop after their first try some may develop an addiction. How long does it take to get addicted to nicotine? You should never try it to find out.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of An Addiction To Video Games
Use Of Two Or More Tobacco Products
Some people have suggested that use of e-cigarettes by young people might “protect” them from using cigarettes. There is no evidence to support this claim. Some studies show that non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than non-smoking youth who do not use e-cigarettes. And among high school students and young adults who use two or more tobacco products, a majority use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products. Burned tobacco products like cigarettes are responsible for the overwhelming majority of tobacco-related deaths and disease in the United States.
What Makes Smoking Addictive
Even though you may already have the intention to quit smoking, more often than not its extremely difficult to actually do so. Cigarettes are so addictive because of the nicotine contained in it, which alters the balance of two chemicals in your brain: dopamine and noradrenaline. These two chemicals change your mood and concentration levels, which is enjoyable for most people.
This will happen very quickly when you inhale nicotine. It goes right to your brain to produce pleasure while reducing stress and anxiety. Many smokers become dependent on this feeling, so the more you smoke, the more your brain craves this feeling. Inevitably, this means you develop a tolerance and must smoke more for the same effect.
Read Also: How To Avoid Addiction To Drugs
How Can I Quit
- Pick a day to stop vaping. Put it on the calendar and tell supportive friends and family that you’re quitting on that day.
- Get rid of all vaping supplies.
- Understand withdrawal. Nicotine addiction leads to very strong cravings for nicotine. It can also lead to:
- feeling tired, cranky, angry, or depressed
- trouble concentrating
Can You Overdose On Nicotine
Nicotine is poisonous and overdose is possible, though not common. Most often, nicotine poisoning occurs when children mistake nicotine gum or lozenges for candy.
If you or someone you care about experiences the following signs of nicotine overdose, call 911 or poison control immediately:
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased or decreased heart rate
Don’t Miss: How Do I Stop Food Addiction
Recovering From Nicotine Addiction
Recovery from this addiction involves learning how to deal with life’s ups and downs nicotine-free. If you remain dependent on nicotine, regardless of the form it comes in, you run an increased risk of a smoking relapse. Additionally, as is the case with habit-forming drugs, your tolerance for nicotine will increase over time and so will your intake.
When the right situation presents itself, you may find it’s a short jump to lighting up when a piece of nicotine gum isn’t handy or just doesn’t do the trick in taking the edge off. Stressful situations will continue to trigger the urge for nicotine until you clear it out of your system and learn new ways of coping.
Don’t let the unhelpful thinking that comes with nicotine withdrawal convince you to keep using. If you managed to stop smoking, you can go one step further and eliminate your dependence on therapeutic nicotine as well.
Nicotine Side Effects On Your Brain
Cigarettes are one of the fastest ways to get nicotine into your system. After an inhale, tar with nicotine deposits travels to lungs where it latches on and gets absorbed by the organism. It takes up to twenty seconds for nicotine to travel to the brain. Other delivery methods, such as chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarette systems are slower, but not by much.
When nicotine reaches the brain it attaches to neural receptors usually reserved for acetylcholine. This begins a series of chain reactions in the body. First, it starts to stimulate the adrenal glands which start releasing large amounts of adrenaline into the system. This flight or fight hormone elevates the heart rate and breathing. As the heart rate goes up so does the blood pressure and this means that nicotine is also partly to blame for numerous vascular diseases.
That rush of adrenaline also signals the body to dump sugars into the system under normal circumstances that sugar would be useful for either the fight or the flight response. In this case, it stays in the bloodstream, accumulating and since nicotine suppresses insulin release this means that smokers regularly have elevated blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is one of the reasons why smokers tend not to feel hungry after a cigarette, regardless of how long it was since their last meal.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Weed Addiction
Who Is Most Likely To Become Addicted
Anyone who starts using tobacco can become addicted to nicotine. Studies show that smoking is most likely to become a habit during the teen years. The younger you are when you begin to smoke, the more likely you are to become addicted to nicotine.
According to the 2014 Surgeon Generals Report , nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke started before age 18, and nearly all started by age 26. The report estimates that about 3 out of 4 high school students who smoke will become adults who smoke even if they intend to quit in a few years.
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
Also Check: How Do You Become Addicted To Alcohol
Know When Youre Rationalizing
Thoughts of smoking just one cigarette are going to happen as you make your way through the early days of nicotine withdrawal. In fact, during the first week or two of smoking cessation, you may feel as though youre thinking of nothing but smoking.
Addiction has an even stronger hold on you mentally than it does physically. Your mind will turn itself inside out trying to convince you that you must smoke again.
Be prepared for the mental chatter that comes with this phase of smoking cessation. Every new ex-smoker goes through some of it. Understand that its just a part of the process as you work to quit nicotine and dont let it throw you. For most people, the worst of it will be over by the end of your first smoke-free month.
Dont Miss: How To Get An Addict To Stop
Side Effects Of Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey
What happens to your body when you stop smoking cold turkey? Some people experience mild withdrawal symptoms for a few days. Others struggle with intense cravings and side effects for weeks.
You can expect withdrawal symptoms to set in anywhere from four to 24 hours after your last cigarette. For most people, withdrawal peaks about three days after quitting, gradually tapering off over the next three to four weeks. Its not uncommon to feel intense cravings when you encounter familiar places or situations where you used to smoke.
While some people can successfully ward off withdrawal symptoms and cravings, others find these sensations too much to bear.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Fast Food Addiction
You May Like: How To Break Nasal Spray Addiction
Under 18s And Pregnant Women
High doses of nicotine can be dangerous, especially for children.
Nicotine can affect brain development in babies, and ideally pregnant women should be smokefree and nicotine free. However, nicotine products are used to support pregnant women to quit smoking. Your doctor or local stop smoking services can give you more information.
Nicotine can also have some negative effects on brain development in adolescents.
To avoid accidental poisoning, e-liquids should be stored out of the reach of children and animals.
Nicotine Effects And Abuse
Nicotine abuse is unique because the drugs intoxicating effects are less intense than most other substances. Although it is a Stimulant, Nicotine doesnt produce the high levels of energy or euphoria that drugs like Cocaine do. Nicotine does, however, stimulate adrenal glands, which causes a rise in blood pressure and respiration.
Most people pick up Nicotine products based on a cultural perception that use of the drug is cool. Studies have shown that teens who see actors smoking in movies are more likely to pick up the habit. Most people who use tobacco started in their teens.
Of those who smoke, 90% started by the age of 18.
– A Surgeon General’s Report in 2012
For those who started smoking at a young age, quitting later in life can be even harder.
Read Also: How Do You Help Someone Addicted To Drugs
What Are Some Of The Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking may cause short-term problems, especially for those who have smoked heavily for many years. These temporary changes can result in withdrawal symptoms.
Common withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting include the following:
- nicotine cravings
- weight gain
Studies have shown that about half of smokers report experiencing at least four withdrawal symptoms when they quit . People have reported other symptoms, including dizziness, increased dreaming, and headaches .
The good news is that there is much you can do to reduce cravings and manage common withdrawal symptoms. Even without medication, withdrawal symptoms and other problems subside over time. It may also help to know that withdrawal symptoms are usually worst during the first week after quitting. From that point on, the intensity usually drops over the first month. However, everyone is different, and some people have withdrawal symptoms for several months after quitting .
Also Check: How To Overcome Sugar Addiction
Why Should I Quit
Wanting to be the best, healthiest version of yourself is an important reason to quit vaping. Others include:
Unknown health effects: The long-term health consequences of vaping are not known. Recent studies report serious lung damage in people who vape, and even some deaths.
Addiction: Addiction in the growing brain may set up pathways for later addiction to other substances.
Brain risks: Nicotine affects your brain development. This can make it harder to learn and concentrate. Some of the brain changes are permanent and can affect your mood and ability to control your impulses as an adult.
Use of other tobacco products: Studies show that vaping makes it more likely that someone will try other tobacco products, like regular cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and smokeless tobacco.
Toxins : The vapor made from e-cigarettes is not made of water. The vapor contains harmful chemicals and very fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs and exhaled into the environment.
Sports: You want to do your best in sports, and vaping may lead to lung inflammation .
Money: Vaping is expensive! The cost of the cartridges over time starts to add up. Instead, you could spend that money on other things you need or enjoy.
Recommended Reading: Can You Be Addicted To Caffeine