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, are products that contain nicotine and are designed to help adults quit smoking by delivering small amounts of nicotine to the brain without the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.
NRTs such as nicotine skin patches, gum, and lozenges can help you through the early part of quitting by relieving cravings and lessening nicotine withdrawal symptoms. When used properly, NRTs are a safe and effective way to help quit smoking and can double the chances of successfully quitting cigarettes.4
While there are no FDA-approved NRTs for youth use, talk to your health care provider about treatment options for youth.
Where Can I Get Help To Quit Smoking
NCI and other agencies and organizations can help smokers quit:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.
National Toxicology Program. Tobacco-Related Exposures. In: Report on Carcinogens. Fourteenth Edition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2016.
Hatsukami DK, Stead LF, Gupta PC. Tobacco addiction. Lancet 2008 371:20272038.
What Are The Risks Of Tobacco Smoke To Nonsmokers
Secondhand smoke is the combination of sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke .
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen . Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmoking adults . Approximately 7,300 lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke . The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that living with a smoker increases a nonsmokers chances of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30% .
Secondhand smoke causes disease and premature death in nonsmoking adults and children . Exposure to secondhand smoke irritates the airways and has immediate harmful effects on a persons heart and blood vessels. It increases the risk of heart disease by an estimated 25 to 30% . In the United States, exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to cause about 34,000 deaths from heart disease each year . Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk of stroke by 20 to 30% . Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of having a baby with a small reduction in birth weight .
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How Can I Quit Smoking
First, congratulate yourself. Just reading this article is a big step toward becoming tobacco-free.
Many people don’t quit smoking because they think it’s too hard, and it’s true that for most people quitting isn’t easy. After all, the nicotine in cigarettes is a powerfully addictive drug. But with the right approach, you can overcome the cravings.
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
- anger, frustration, and irritability
- 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 .
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What Are The Health Risks Of Nicotine Addiction
Many health issues come from long-term nicotine use, ranging from poorer blood circulation and heart problems to digestive system issues. Pregnant women who smoke also put their baby at risk of developing serious health problems during the pregnancy and later on in life.
Nicotine can harm a teenagers memory and ability to concentrate, as well as alter their brain development and lessen their ability to control their impulses.
Many health issues from nicotine use are also linked to the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, chewing tobacco and vaping products. Some of these chemicals can cause cancer and other serious health problems.
Still Dont Understand What Are The Causes Of Smoking Cigarettes
People smoke because they feel pleasure and relaxed in doing this or they want themselves to look cool among others. It has become a fashion nowadays. Some teen kids start it by the name of fashion and they start to smoke regularly. Some imitate their friends or relatives. The reason behind most of the smokers is that they want to release stress from their minds and they feel comfortable after smoking. In doing so daily, they get addicted to smoking because of the nicotine which serves as a drug and they do not easily quit smoking.
Most of the teenagers start smoking in their group of friends by just experiencing how it feels to just puff a cigarette and in doing so, most of them make it a habit to puff daily. This puffing then leads to inhaling slowly and gradually which turns into proper smoking. It becomes a habit afterward and such an addictive habit is very difficult to control and leave. And thats why people smoking.
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Preventing Weight Gain After You Stop Smoking
Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant, so gaining weight is a common concern for many of us when we decide to give up cigarettes. You may even be using it as a reason not to quit. While its true that many smokers put on weight within six months of stopping smoking, the gain is usually smallabout five pounds on averageand that initial gain decreases over time. Its also important to remember that carrying a few extra pounds for a few months wont hurt your heart as much as smoking does. However, gaining weight is NOT inevitable when you stop smoking.
Smoking dampens your sense of smell and taste, so after you quit food will often seem more appealing. You may also gain weight if you replace the oral gratification of smoking with eating unhealthy comfort foods. Therefore, its important to find other, healthy ways to deal with unpleasant feelings such as stress, anxiety, or boredom rather than mindless, emotional eating.
Nurture yourself. Instead of turning to cigarettes or food when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, learn new ways to quickly soothe yourself. Listen to uplifting music, play with a pet, or sip a cup of hot tea, for example.
Eat healthy, varied meals. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary food, sodas, fried, and convenience food.
Drink lots of water. Drinking at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses will help you feel full and keep you from eating when youre not hungry. Water will also help flush toxins from your body.
If I Have Been Smoking For A While Is It Too Late To Quit
Smoking cessation, at any age, will improve your health. Years of smoking damage can reverse with time.
When you quit, benefits happen almost immediately:
- After 20 minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate drop, and the temperature of your hands and feet increases. Plus, you stop polluting the air.
- After eight hours, your blood will contain lower levels of carbon monoxide and higher levels of oxygen.
- After 24 hours, your heart attack risk decreases.
- After 48 hours, your nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine, and you begin to regain your ability to taste and smell.
- After two weeks to three months, your circulation improves, and you can tolerate more exercise.
- After one to nine months, your overall energy level increases, and you cough less. Plus, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
- After one year, your risk of heart disease cuts in half compared to a current smoker.
- After five to 15 years, your risk of stroke lowers to that of people who never smoked.
- After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer drops to almost the same rate as a lifelong nonsmoker. Plus, you decrease the risk of other cancers.
- After 15 years, your risk of heart disease finally reaches that of people who never smoked.
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How Nicotine Hooks You
Nicotine from tobacco enters your bloodstream through your lungs. From there, it travels to the brain,flooding its reward circuits with a chemical known as dopamine . This explains thehigh that smokers feel whenever they smoke.
The problem is that the effects of nicotine wear off after a few minutes, causing the smoker to long forthe feeling again. This leads to a vicious cycle of smoking so that the high can be felt again.
Your body tends to adapt to the amount of nicotine in your bloodstream. As your tolerance increases, thenumber of cigarettes you need to smoke in order to get the same high will also increase leading to afull-blown addiction.
Genetics Of Nicotine Addiction
Studies in twins have shown a high degree of heritability of cigarette smoking , including the level of dependence and the number of cigarettes smoked daily. These studies have also revealed the heritability of the particular symptoms that occur when a smoker stops smoking.
Numerous attempts have been made to identify genes underlying nicotine addiction. Such studies are problematic because multiple genes and environmental factors determine complex behavior, and the many different dependence phenotypes may have different genetic underpinnings. Candidate genes coding for nicotine-receptor subtypes, dopamine receptors and dopamine transporters, GABA receptors, opiate and cannabinoid receptors, and other types of receptors have been associated with different aspects of smoking behavior. Subsequent research, however, has not replicated many of the initial findings.
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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 Can I Enjoy A Meal Without Smoking
Food often tastes better after you quit smoking, and you may have a bigger appetite. Expect to want to smoke after meals. Your desire to smoke after meals may depend on whether you are alone, with other smokers, or with nonsmokers.
Your urge to smoke may be stronger with certain foods, such as spicy or sweet foods. Also, the urge to smoke may be stronger at different meal times.
Here are some tips:
- Know what kinds of foods increase your urge to smoke and stay away from them.
- If you are alone, call a friend or take a walk as soon as youâve finished eating.
- Brush your teeth or use mouthwash right after meals.
- If you have coffee or a fruit drink, concentrate on the taste.
- Wash the dishes by hand after eatingâyou canât smoke with wet hands!
- Eat at smoke-free restaurants.
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How Nicotine Causes Addiction
Nicotine causes addiction by causing chemical changes in the brain. Using nicotine-containing products, including smoking cigarettes or vaping, causes the release of a chemical in the brain called dopamine.
Dopamine trains people to act a certain way by reinforcing certain behaviors. It does this by rewarding a person with a pleasurable sensation. This is called reinforcement. Each time a person takes a puff on a cigarette or vapes, they get a dopamine hit. This causes them to use nicotine-containing products over and over.
- Taking work breaks
How Is Tobacco Addiction Treated
The good news is that treatments for tobacco addiction do work. Although some people who smoke can quit without help, many people need help. Behavioral treatment programs help people learn about and change their behaviors using self-help materials, counselor-staffed telephone “quitlines,” and individual therapy. Over-the-counter medications, such as the nicotine patch, gum, inhalers, and lozenges, replace nicotine and relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. It is important to know that nicotine replacement medicines can be safely used as a medication when taken properly. They have lower overall nicotine levels than tobacco and they have little abuse potential since they do not produce the pleasurable effects of tobacco products. They also don’t contain the carcinogens and gases found in tobacco smoke, making them a good treatment approach for quitting.
There are also prescription medications now available for smoking cessation, such as bupropion and varenicline tartrate , that have been shown to help people quit. But research shows that the most effective way to quit smoking is to use both medications and behavioral treatment programs.
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Will Smoking Or Using Tobacco Products Containing Nicotine Hurt My Baby
Nicotine can cross the placenta when a pregnant person uses tobacco products. This can negatively impact the baby, including, but not limited to: premature labor low birth weight respiratory failure at birth and even sudden infant death syndrome .3, 8, 9, 10
People who use tobacco products can experience negative health effects on their reproductive health, their pregnancies, and their babies. If you use tobacco products and are considering having a child, consult your doctor and learn more about how you can quit smoking.
Serious Symptoms That Might Indicate A Life
Long-term smoking can result in serious and life-threatening diseases and conditions, such as , lung cancer, , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and . Seek prompt medical care if you have or ulcers in your mouth that do not heal, which could be a symptom of oral cancer, or a cough that does not go away, which is a possible symptom of .
Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these potentially symptoms:
Persistent, that produces thick greenish, yellow, brown, or blood-tinged phlegm
or difficulty breathing
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Does Quitting Smoking Lower The Risk Of Getting And Dying From Cancer
Yes. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer and other diseases caused by smoking. Although it is never too late to benefit from quitting, the benefit is greatest among those who quit at a younger age .
The risk of premature death and the chances of developing and dying from a smoking-related cancer depend on many factors, including the number of years a person has smoked, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the age at which the person began smoking.
Do Nicotine Replacement Products Relieve Nicotine Cravings And Withdrawal Symptoms
Yes. Nicotine replacement products deliver measured doses of nicotine into the body, which helps to relieve the cravings and withdrawal symptoms often felt by people trying to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement products are effective treatments that can increase the likelihood that someone will quit successfully .
Five forms of nicotine replacement products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration :
Experts recommend combining nicotine replacement therapy with advice or counseling from a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Also, experts suggest that smokers quit using tobacco products before they start using nicotine replacement products . Too much nicotine can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, weakness, or rapid heartbeat.
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Signs Of Smoking Addiction
Not all tobacco use is considered smoking, but some of the following signs should be observed:
- Consumption of seven cigarettes per day or more
- Consumption of cigarettes with a high level of nicotine .
- Inhale deeply and frequently
- Smoking within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning
- Difficulty or inability to eliminate that first cigarette
- More cigarettes in the morning
- Difficulties not to smoke when entering areas where it is not allowed
- Need to smoke every day, even if you are sick