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.
How Can People Get Treatment For Nicotine Addiction
Both behavioral treatments and medications can help people quit smoking, but the combination of medication with counseling is more effective than either alone.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a national toll-free quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to serve as an access point for anyone seeking information and help in quitting smoking.
Measure Tobacco Use And Translate Data Into Effective Action
CDC collects, studies, and shares information to assess tobacco use and its effects on health, promote evidence-based approaches, and measure progress toward goals. CDC uses this information to:
- Monitor changes and trends in the use of tobacco products among young people and adults.
- Understand tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among young people and adults.
- Promote the impact of comprehensive tobacco control programs and policies.
- Answer important questions about tobacco use and tobacco control.
- Measure how tobacco use affects population groups to reduce health disparities and advance health equity.
Information is shared in high-quality reports, easy-to-understand web resources,infographics, and interactive data applications. The Tobacco Use Data Portal provides access to the latest tobacco prevention and control data, graphs, and maps, which users can download for more analysis. The STATE System provides data on state tobacco use prevention and control policies.
Don’t Miss: How Can You Get Addicted To Alcohol
Risk Factors For Tobacco Use Disorder
Anyone who smokes takes a chance of becoming addicted. Some people are more likely to become addicted, though. Some of the top risk factors for addiction are:
- Mental illness or depression. Research links smoking with depression. But people with anxiety and other mental health disorders also tend to be addicted to smoking.
- Having parents who smoked. Children who grew up in a house where parents smoked are more likely to start smoking.
- Abusing other substances, like alcohol and drugs. People who use these substances are often smokers.
- How old you were when you started smoking. The younger you were when you first started smoking, the more chance you have of becoming a heavy smoker when you’re an adult.
In addition, some studies show that your genes can show if you have a higher risk of becoming addicted to tobacco. Some genetics might affect how your brain reacts to nicotine. This can make you become addicted more easily.
Whats In A Cigarette Major Ingredients In A Cigarette
Three major ingredients of a cigarette are:
- Carbon monoxide
They have the most adverse effects on human body, regardless of the fact that they are not the most poisonous ingredients that can be found in there.
Tar its important not to mix cigarette tar with natural occurring tar such as wood tar. Wood tar has microbicidal properties that cannot be claimed for cigarette tar. Tar is an umbrella name for a number of particulates that smokers ingest when smoking basically, tar is everything a smoker inhales and contains every single poisonous particle that can be found in cigarettes.
Tar coats the lungs, causing cilia cells to die out. Without that barrier, tar gets immediate access to the alveoli where it infects the organ with carcinogenic ingredients and causes cancer and other pulmonary diseases.
Nicotine the addiction culprit. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that compels you to smoke. Its why smokers go back to cigarettes even when they try to quit. It is a compound naturally found in the tobacco plant and it serves as a bug repellent. That is why it has been used as a pesticide for decades.
Nicotine causes a rush of adrenaline and dopamine in humans. It also increases blood sugar and inhibits insulin production, making smokers feel less hungry as a result. These combined effects make it as addictive as heroin and cocaine and most smokers have serious withdrawal symptoms, both psychological and physical, when they try to quit smoking.
Also Check: Why Is Oxy So Addictive
Why Cant My Teen Quit Smoking Or Vaping
Because their brains are still developing, young people have a higher risk of becoming addicted to the nicotine in tobacco products than adults.
Many teens dont understand how easy it is to become addicted to tobacco products. The younger a person is when they start using tobacco, the more likely they are to become addicted.7
Nicotine exposure during adolescence can disrupt normal brain development.7
Because of nicotines powerfully addictive nature and major effects on the developing brain, no tobacco products are safe for youth to use.
Is Fda Lowering The Levels Of Nicotine In Cigarettes
Former Center Director Mitch Zellers presentation on The Past, Present, and Future of Nicotine Addiction.
Lowering nicotine in cigarettes to a minimally or non-addictive level through the creation of a potential nicotine product standard could decrease the chances that future generations become addicted to cigarettes, and could make it easier for more currently addicted smokers to quit.
On March 15, 2018, FDA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on issues and questions related to such a potential nicotine product standard. FDA is constantly gathering new evidence and considering evolving data regarding tobacco products and use, and continues to consider a product standard that would require manufacturers to limit the amount of nicotine in cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products to a level that would render them minimally addictive or non-addictive for most people. On June 21, 2022, the potential nicotine product standard was included in the Spring 2022 Unified Agenda.
Don’t Miss: Am I Addicted To Gaming
Where Can I Find Help Treatment And Support
After a few years, people who quit smoking can generally achieve the same health levels as people who have never smoked, especially if they stop while they are young. Quitting smoking can take several attempts, so it is important to keep trying.
Stop-smoking aids called nicotine replacement therapy , can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. These products, such as the patch, gum, inhaler, lozenge and nasal spray, contain nicotine, but none of the toxins that smoked tobacco products contain.
Certain medications that do not contain nicotine can help people quit smoking. These include bupropion and varenicline . Both are available by prescription.
In Canada, cytisine, a naturally occurring chemical found in plants of the legume family, was approved in 2017 for use as an over-the-counter natural health product to aid in smoking cessation. It is less expensive than NRT or prescription medication.
Cutting down before quitting eases withdrawal symptoms for some people, and allows them to change their smoking behaviours gradually. Strategies for cutting down include delaying cigarettes, smoking fewer cigarettes and smoking less of each cigarette. Cutting down may reduce some health risks, but there is no safe level of smoking cutting down is not an alternative to quitting.
All approaches to quitting tobacco use work best when the person is highly motivated to quit and has other supports, such as family, friends, a stop-smoking group or telephone support.
List Of Carcinogenic Compounds In Cigarette Smoke
Lets take a look at a number of known carcinogenic chemical compounds that are produced by a burning cigarette.
- Acetaldehyde used to produce acetic acid and butadiene both toxic substances in their own right
- Acrylonitrile used in manufacture of plastic toxic in small doses
- 4-Aminobiphenyl use prohibited in many countries in the world
- Arsenic potent poison highly regulated use in all countries in the world
- Benzene benzene is a toxin used as a pesticide. Its also used in gasoline and explosives manufacture
- Beryllium highly toxic substance that can cause a pulmonary condition called chronic berylliosis one third of sufferers will die from it while the survivors are left disabled
- Cadmium lethal dose for a rat is 25 mg/m3 cadmium is used to produce batteries and in processes of nuclear fission
- Ethylene oxide known carcinogen that also causes acute poisoning in higher doses
- Formaldehyde also used for preserving dead tissue in embalming fluids
- Furan increases the risk of hepatocellular and bile duct tumors
- Hydrazine used in rocket fuel, fuel cells, and pesticides
- Isoprene used in production of rubber
- Lead causes microcytic anemia and interferes with cognition
- Polonium-210 highly toxic, radioactive isotope
- o-Toluidine causes DNA damage which results in tumors
Also Check: How To Get Certification In Addiction Counseling
Why Is Tobacco So Addictive
It has everything to do with nicotine.
Tobacco is an incredibly addictive substance. Studies have found that smoking tobacco can be as addictive as heroin and cocaine , but what makes people crave a cigarette? And why do many people struggle to stop smoking despite being aware of the dangers?
The answer, it turns out, has to do with tobacco changing the way our brains work, making us want more of it, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . “Addiction is primarily defined as a loss of control on the use of a substance and continued use despite the consequences,” Bernard Le Foll, Chair of Addiction Psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, told Live Science in an email.
“Once an addiction to a substance is developed, people will experience cravings and/or withdrawal when not using it for a certain period of time. Tobacco is addictive because it contains nicotine, a psychoactive substance with high addictive potential,” Le Foll said.
Related: How does cannabis get you high?
A psychoactive substance is one that impacts how the brain works and, according to the National Cancer Institute , “causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior.” Other examples of psychoactive substances include LSD, alcohol and caffeine.
Chronic smoking increases the number of nicotine receptors in the brain, which explains why addicted smokers have “billions more of these receptors than nonsmokers do,” the Mayo Clinic reported.
The Sneaky Role Of Some Additives In Cigarettes
Armeen Poor, MD, is a board-certified pulmonologist and intensivist. He specializes in pulmonary health, critical care, and sleep medicine.
Karen Cilli is a fact-checker for Verywell Mind. She has an extensive background in research, with 33 years of experience as a reference librarian and educator.
Patcharanan Worrapatchareeroj / Moment / Getty Images
As of Dec. 20, 2019, the new legal age limit is 21 years old for purchasing cigarettes, cigars, or any other tobacco products in the U.S.
Tobacco companies use additives to make the effects of nicotine more impactful and to make cigarette smoking more appealing to consumers. Unfortunately, these additives also drastically increase the health risks related to cigarette smoking.
The use of these additives sheds a light on the strategies tobacco companies use to appeal to certain groups of people, including especially vulnerable groups like adolescents.
Read Also: How To Help Someone With Alcohol Addiction
Other Ingredients In Cigarettes
While we dont have enough room in this article to highlight every single ingredient that can be found in cigarettes, we wanted to draw your attention to a couple of more which might surprise you.
- Acetic acid acetic acid can be found in household products such as cleaning wipes, disinfectants, and degreasers. Its also used for industrial and manufacturing purposes.
- Toluene found in gasoline and used in the manufacturing of explosives.
- Naphthalene a poisonous compound used in production of mothballs.
- Hydrogen cyanide a poison that was used in prison executions.
- Acetanisole a fragrance used in perfume industry.
- Methanol an ingredient regularly found in antifreeze used in car industry.
- Methane gas found in excrement.
- Urea a compound found in sweat and urine.
The most controversial aspect here is the fact that cigarette manufacturers are not required by the law to write a list of ingredients in their product! How many times have you picked up a product in a store that didnt have a comprehensive list of ingredients on the back cover? It happens very rarely and in most cases its not even legal. Cigarette manufacturers get away with it because their list of ingredients is so huge that it wouldnt fit on a cardboard box of cigarettes, let alone a single pack and because its so frightening that no one would touch a cigarette ever again.
Support Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs
In FY 2021, CDC provided over $96 million to 50 states and the District of Columbia, 8 US territories and freely associated states, 26 tribes/tribal organizations, 8 national networks, and several other partners to support their work in reducing tobacco-related disease and death. Recipients focus on using evidence-based strategies to achieve the following OSH goals:
- Prevent young people from using tobacco products.
- Help people quit using tobacco products.
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Advance health equity by identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.
States that have made larger investments in comprehensive tobacco control programs have seen larger and faster declines in cigarette smoking among adults and young people. For every $1 spent on comprehensive tobacco control programs, states get a $55 return on investment, mostly in averted health care costs to treat smoking-related illness.
What Is The Safest Cigarette To Smoke
Let’s take a look.
- West White. Tar 2 mg. Nicotine 0.2 mg. …
- Glamour Super Slims Amber. Tar 1 mg. Nicotine 0.2 mg. …
- Davidoff One, Davidoff one Slims. Tar 1 mg. …
- Virginia Slims Superslims. Tar 1 mg. …
- Winston Xsence white Mini. Imperial tobacco. …
- Pall Mall Super Slims Silver. Tar 1 mg. …
- Camel One. Tar 1 mg. …
Counseling And Psychological Support
Research suggests that a combination of NRT or medications to stop smoking alongside behavioral treatment is more effective in helping people quit smoking.
People may choose to speak with a mental health professional for advice or use psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy . Mindfulness, helplines, automated text messages, and self-help materials may also help people to quit.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Rid Of An Addiction
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.
When To See A Doctor
If you smoke or chew tobacco, you should see a doctor immediately. Your family doctor can help you develop a plan to stop using tobacco. He or she can give you information on telephone hotlines or self-help materials. Your doctor can recommend a stop-smoking program. These programs are often held at local hospitals or health centers.
Don’t Miss: How To Beat Addiction To Painkillers
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.
Can A Person Overdose On Nicotine
Nicotine is poisonous and, though uncommon, overdose is possible. An overdose occurs when the person uses too much of a drug and has a toxic reaction that results in serious, harmful symptoms or death. Nicotine poisoning usually occurs in young children who accidentally chew on nicotine gum or patches used to quit smoking or swallow e-cigarette liquid. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting, fainting, headache, weakness, and increased or decreased heart rate. Anyone concerned that a child or adult might be experiencing a nicotine overdose should seek immediate medical help.
Don’t Miss: Video Game Addiction Treatment Centers
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