Thank You for Not Smoking: The Dangers of Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction is an addiction to cigarettes or other tobacco products. Dependence to the drug means that you are unable to stop using the substance, even though it is causing harm. Nicotine addiction is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States, causing more than 440,000 premature deaths every year. Addiction to nicotine can have many adverse effects. One of the primary dangers of smoking includes the affliction from various cancers, such as throat cancer and lung cancer. Clinical studies have shown that smoking increases the heartbeat and blood pressure, causing unnecessary physiologic strain. Long-term use of tobacco products can lead to many other health problems, such as blood clots, hair fall, lowered blood circulation and conditions of the heart. These are just a few of the serious outcomes that can occur due to smoking.
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical and is found in most types of tobacco products. It increases the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which help to moderate behavior and mood. The primary neurotransmitter that affected by nicotine is known as dopamine. Dependence produce a “feel good” feeling. When an individual acquires a dopamine boost it begins the addiction process. Nicotine dependence is related to a combination of behavioral and physical factors. Behaviors that you may associate with smoking include drinking alcohol, talking on the phone, driving in your car, the smell of a burning cigarette, certain friends or locations, after a meal or a certain time of the day. There are more than four thousand different chemicals in cigarette smoke. Nicotine is the most well known and is primarily responsible for the addictive nature of tobacco and cigarettes.
Even a small amount of nicotine can lead to addiction in some individuals. There are several common signs and symptoms associated with nicotine dependence. Signs that you may be addicted are if you are unable to stop smoking after one or more serious attempts. You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop, such as strong cravings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, frustrations, depressed mood, insomnia, anger, diarrhea or increased hunger. Another sign that you may be addicted is if you continue to smoke despite having developed health problems. You may discontinue participating in certain recreational activities or seeing certain people because you are unable to smoke in these situations. Finally, continuing to smoke, despite relationship and financial consequence is a sign of an addiction to nicotine.
Many individuals with nicotine addiction have made serious attempts to stop. Stopping is important and will benefit your health almost immediately thereafter. As a matter of a fact, stop smoking can lead to health benefits within hours of the last sigurate. Many medications have been proven to be safe and effective in treating nicotine addiction. Some medical personnel suggest taking more than one medications at a time for better results. Nicotine replacement therapy provides individuals seeking treatment with nicotine without the other harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke. Nicotine replacement medications, such as gum, patches, inhalers, lozenges and nasal sprays, can relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms. There are several non-nicotine medications available by prescription. Some of these include the anti-depressant drug Bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin), Varenicline (Chantix) and Nortiptyline (Pamelor).
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