Ways To Overcome Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction is a severe addiction that millions suffer from. Found in cigarettes that are sold in most stores, this addictive drug causes a person to want to continue smoking to put nicotine back into their system. In fact, according to the CDC, over 15 of every 100 people over the age of 18 smoke cigarettes in the United States.
Smoking cigarettes can cause many health issues and even lead to death so, it is essential to know more about nicotine addiction and find out the ways to overcome it.
How Caffeine Tolerance Works
The caffeine found in coffee comes with a similar chemical structure to adenosine. Lets discuss how caffeine works and how the tolerance is built.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. When you drink coffee, the caffeine found in it goes to your brain, and the most obvious effect that you experience is alertness. Because it makes you feel more alert, it is no wonder that it is heavily consumed by people with active lifestyles or folks that wish to stay awake for an extended period.
Caffeine is closely related to adenosine. Adenosine is created in the brain, and it binds itself to adenosine receptors. When bound, the adenosine weighs you down. It causes drowsiness slowing down brain nerve cell activity.
Now, to a nerve cell, caffeine is eerily similar to adenosine. Hence, when you drink caffeine, instead of the adenosine binding with the receptor, it is the caffeine that binds to the receptor. Instead of slowing down brain nerve activity, this binding increases the speed of the nerve cells.
Some of the effects of caffeine include:
- Pupil dilation
- Increase in heartbeat and blood pressure
- Tightened muscles ready for action
While all these are great, caffeine tolerance can pose a problem.
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How Can I Resist The Urge To Smoke When I’m Driving Or Riding In A Car
You may have become used to smoking while drivingâto relax in a traffic jam or to stay alert on a long drive. Like many smokers, you may like to light up when driving to and from work to relieve stress, stay alert, relax, or just pass the time. There is some evidence that smoking actually does make you feel more awake and alert.
Tips for short trips:
- Remove the ashtray, lighter, and cigarettes from your car.
- Keep nonfattening snacks in your car .
- Turn on your favorite music and sing along.
- Take an alternate route to work or try carpooling.
- Clean your car and make sure to use deodorizers to reduce the tobacco smell.
- Tell yourself:
- âThis urge will go away in a few minutes.â
- âSo, Iâm not enjoying this car ride. Big deal! It wonât last forever!â
- âMy car smells clean and fresh!â
- âIâm a better driver now that Iâm not smoking while driving.â
When you are driving or riding with other people:
- Ask passengers not to smoke in your car.
- If youâre not driving, find something to do with your hands.
Your desire to smoke may be stronger and more frequent on longer trips. Tips for long trips:
- Take a stretch break.
- Plan stops for water or fruit juice.
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What To Do When Cigarette Cravings Hit
When a cigarette craving hits, it may be tough to resist the urge to smoke. Especially in the first weeks of your quit. One way to help manage your withdrawal symptoms, in addition to nicotine replacements like Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ, is simply to distract yourself. Do something else that takes your mind off smoking, helps lessen stress, or puts you in a situation where you really cant smoke.
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Remove All Smoking Reminders
Smoking like any addiction is triggered by people, places, and things. For other addictions, the objects that are triggers are usually drug paraphernalia. In this case the paraphernalia include cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Get rid of all of them. Dont save anything just in case.
Freshen your environment at home, work and in your car. The smell of cigarettes is definitely a trigger, especially in the beginning.
Weight Gain And Quitting Smoking
Weight gain is not always part of quitting smoking but it is common. You may find you feel hungrier than usual after you quit this is a common withdrawal symptom and it will settle down with time. It can help to plan ahead and have plenty of healthy snacks in the kitchen, such as nuts and fruit, and to get rid of the junk food from your house.
If you do gain weight in the early days, try not to be too hard on yourself. By quitting smoking youre doing great things for your health.
What Are Some Other Non
Other ways to help manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:
- Get physical! Find some form of physical activity to keep your body active. Its a double win for you quitting nicotine use and getting your body fit at the same time.
- Spend time with friends who dont smoke. Tell people you are quitting so they can encourage you and provide support.
- Keep your hands busy. Find a favorite fidget toy or stress ball that will keep your hands active.
- Substitute a straw, toothpick or cinnamon stick to replace the physical sensation of having something touching your lips and mouth. Chewing gum can also keep your mouth busy.
- Talk back to your temptations. Write down logical responses to your tug of war thoughts that its OK to use a nicotine product. Youll be ready when the thoughts come up the next time.
- Practice deep breathing when you feel the urge to use nicotine. It may help you relax and allow the urge to pass.
- Distract yourself in all ways possible. Sing or talk to a friend . Play with your pet . Put together a puzzle .
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Surround Yourself With Support
Your ability to quit nicotine permanently will be much easier to sustain if you have strong, positive support around you. Friends and family can be helpful, but they may not understand the depth of what quitting smoking means to you, especially if theyve never smoked. You may wish to try an online smoking cessation support forum or take advantage of the Smokefree.gov helplines to help you deal with nicotine withdrawal and the entire quit process.
Benefits Of Quitting Smoking
Quitting is the best thing you will ever do for your health. It can affect your life in ways you may not even imagine.
Benefits to your health and life from quitting smoking include:
- Your sense of taste and smell may improve, so you may enjoy your food more.
- Exercising to increase your fitness will become easier.
- You will be free from the hassles of smoking, such as smelling of smoke, or always having to make sure you have enough cigarettes.
- Your fertility levels will improve , and if youre a woman, your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby will also increase.
- You will save thousands of dollars a year that you can save or spend on other things.
Your family and friends will also benefit because:
- You wont put their health at risk with second-hand smoke any more.
- Your children will be less at risk from bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, meningitis and ear infections.
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Natural Ways To Quit Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid which is found in the nightshade family of plants. An addiction of nicotine is equally dangerous like that of any other such drug. Still, the effects of nicotine addiction are different from other such drugs in a way that though the signs of harm may not be seen in your case if you are using nicotine, but it will always result in long term effects when you get addicted and the drug finally starts showing results. In order to leave nicotine/ nicotine based product consumption addiction, you can follow these simple tips in your lifestyle:-
The Challenge Of Quitting Cold
In smokers who quit cold turkey, the brain has a big adjustment to makeexcess receptors and little nicotine to fill them, says investigator Dr. Julie K. Staley of Yale University School of Medicine. The brain is used to having nicotine stimulate all those receptors, and when they are not stimulated, it needs time to adapt to the loss of nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms occur until the brain has had sufficient time to make the neurochemical adaptations necessary for a person to feel normal without nicotine.
In the study by Dr. Staley, Dr. Kelly Cosgrove, and colleagues, 19 nicotine-dependent people, who had smoked about a pack a day for an average of 21 years, underwent imaging by single-photon emission computed tomography at various times after they quit. The technique measured 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which are the most prevalent nicotinic receptor subtype and contribute to the rewarding aspects of nicotine.
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Cigars Pipes Hookahs Chewing Tobacco And Snuff Are Not Safe
Some people think smokeless tobacco , pipes, and cigars are safe alternatives to cigarettes. They are not. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth and pancreas. It also causes precancerous lesions , gum problems, and nicotine addiction. Pipe and cigar smokers may develop cancer of the mouth, lip, larynx, esophagus, and bladder. Those who inhale when smoking are also at increased risk of getting lung cancer as well as heart disease, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema. Using a hookah to smoke tobacco poses many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking.
How Can I Resist The Urge To Smoke When Im Having Coffee Or Tea
You may be used to smoking when drinking coffee or tea , and you may associate good feelings with drinking a hot beverage. When you give up smoking, expect to feel a strong urge to reach for a cigarette while drinking coffee or tea. Although you do not have to give up coffee or tea to quit smoking, you should expect that coffee or tea will not taste the same without a cigarette.
Here are some tips:
- If you used to smoke while drinking coffee or tea, tell people you have quit, so they wonât offer you a cigarette.
- Between sips of coffee or tea, take deep breaths to inhale the aroma. Breathe in deeply and slowly while you count to five, and then breathe out slowly, counting to five again.
- Try switching to decaffeinated coffee or tea for a while, particularly if quitting has made you irritable or nervous.
- Keep your hands busy by nibbling on healthy foods, doodling, or making a list of tasks for the day.
- If the urge to smoke is very strong, drink your coffee or tea more quickly than usual and then change activities or rooms.
- When you quit smoking, drinking coffee or tea without smoking may make you feel sad. Focus on what youâve gained by quitting.
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Signs Of Nicotine Addiction
A dependence on nicotine can develop quickly, especially for regular users of tobacco products. The more regularly and often that you use products that contain nicotine, the more likely you are to become addicted, though it is possible to get addicted even if you do not use nicotine too regularly at first.
The Mayo Clinic describes these as signs of nicotine addiction:
- You cannot stop smoking. Despite one or more serious attempts to stop smoking, you are unable to do so.
- When you try to stop you are affected by nicotine withdrawal. This is associated with strong cravings for nicotine and other physical symptoms which are described in the next section.
- Despite health problems, you continue to smoke. Even if you have developed heart or lung problems, you are unable to stop using tobacco products.
- You may forgo activities in order to smoke. Avoiding situations where you cant smoke, such as smoke-free restaurants or parties, family members who you cant smoke around and more, is also one of the main nicotine addiction symptoms.
Two main factors that describe nicotine addiction are dependence and withdrawal. Dependence, in this case, would be the repetitive and compulsive use of substances containing nicotine, and withdrawal is a collection of symptoms experienced when use stops abruptly.
Appetite And Weight Gain
Nicotine can be an appetite suppressant and smoking also interferes with your senses of taste and smell, so some people use smoking as a snack substitute and as a way to try and control their weight.
One of the most rewarding aspects of quitting smoking can be rediscovering the joy of food.
As long as the food you choose is healthy and eaten in moderation, there should be no problem.
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How Can I Resist The Urge To Smoke When Im Feeling Stressed
Most smokers report that one reason they smoke is to handle stress. This happens because smoking cigarettes actually relieves some of your stress by releasing powerful chemicals in your brain. Temporary changes in brain chemistry cause you to experience decreased anxiety, enhanced pleasure, and alert relaxation. Once you stop smoking, you may become more aware of stress.
Everyday worries, responsibilities, and hassles can all contribute to stress. As you go longer without smoking, you will get better at handling stress, especially if you learn stress reduction and relaxation techniques.
Here are some tips:
- Know the causes of stress in your life and identify the stress signals . Once you pinpoint high-risk trigger situations, you can start to develop new ways to handle them.
- Create peaceful times in your everyday schedule. For example, set aside an hour where you can get away from other people and your usual environment.
- Try relaxation techniques, such as progressive relaxation or yoga, and stick with the one that works best for you.
- Rehearse and visualize your relaxation plan. Put your plan into action. Change your plan as needed.
- You may find it helpful to read a book about how to handle stress.
Nicotine Withdrawal And Your Mood
As your body adjusts to life without nicotine, you may have mood swings or feel increased anxiety or sadness. If you become depressed or are having extreme sadness, do not ignore these feelings or keep them to yourself. Let someone who cares about you know how you are feeling, and talk to a doctor or another trusted healthcare professional.
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Ways To Support Someone Whos Trying To Quit
Social media and smartphone apps which can reach a tobacco user in minutes or even seconds can be very helpful for someone whos trying to quit smoking, says Augustson. Texting someone can be particularly encouraging, he says. If it feels right, send your friend or family member positive, upbeat messages throughout the day, and find out whether other friends and family are willing to join in as well. Or you can support the person by reaching out on social media.
Being specific about dates and plans through texts can help, too. Text or email the person a message saying its important to you that they are there for your sons graduation from high school or your daughters wedding, for example, says Augustson. Another way you can help is to ask permission to upload a Smokefree.gov app or other resource directly onto the persons phone.
If youre unsure of what to say or do, try these ideas:
Although nearly 70 percent of people who smoke say they want to quit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, others arent ready to kick the habit. If your loved one who smokes isnt interested in quitting, try pointing out the myriad benefits of quitting smoking: for example, theyll sleep better, breathe easier, and lower their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Additional reporting by Andrea Peirce
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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Quitting Vaping Here Are 5 Tips For Handling Nicotine Withdrawal
Its one of the biggest challenges to quitting both cigarettes and e-cigarettes: coping with cravings from nicotine withdrawal.
Although research on quitting e-cigarettes is in the early stages, that doesnt mean we dont have plenty of good information about how to deal with nicotine withdrawal. Since nicotine is what makes e-cigarettes addictive, quitting e-cigarettes shares similarities to quitting regular cigarettes or other tobacco products.
Dr. J. Taylor Hays, professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, regularly takes on this topic in his blog in the EX Community on BecomeAnEX®, a digital quit-smoking program developed by Truth Initiative® in collaboration with Mayo Clinic.
We rounded up some of Hays top tips for handling withdrawal symptoms.
How Does Nicotine Addiction Work
If you’re a smoker, your brain is filled with nicotine receptors. These receptors eagerly await incoming nicotine. Think of nicotine as a key, and receptors as little locks. When the nicotine unlocks the nicotine receptors, a feel-good chemical called dopamine is released, giving you a little hit or buzz. This doesnt last long. The nicotine soon fades making the receptor eager for more. Cue nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings!
Two proven quitting methods really work on the nicotine addiction. Nicotine replacement therapy and prescribed stop smoking tablets.
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