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...County of San Diego Health and HumanServices




Tobacco Dependency is Directly Tied to:

The Nicotine Addiction.

1800 NO BUTTS California Department of Public health

Nicotine Addiction


....Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death. Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause an estimated average of 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Of these premature deaths, about 40 percent are from cancer, 35 percent are from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent are from lung disease.

....Most people know that smoking is a bad habit that they can quit whenever they decided to. Just time quitters find this is not so. The fact is that smokers are not aware of their addiction. Most of them are surprised to know that they are addicted.

What is the diference betwen habit and addiction?

....Habits shape our personalities and enrich our lives, but when they become obsessive and harmful, they turn into addictions. When these addictions hurt us, and those we love, we need to get help to break the addiction.

Addiction can take many forms. The most common addictions are substance abuse and repetitive, damaging behaviors. Substance abuse is a dependence.

....Addiction dependence are characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, even in the face of negative consequences, and tobacco use certainly fits the description. In order to quit smoking successfully for the long term, it helps to understand the nature of nicotine addiction and what it takes to break free from it.

How much addictive is the nicotine?

....Nicotine is Highly Addictive. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Other factors to consider besides nicotine's addictive properties include its high level of availability and the strong marketing and advertising methods used by tobacco companies.

....Recent research has shown how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of behavioral effects and activates the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure, also called reward pathways. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine.The nicotine increases the levels of dopamine and enhance its abuse potential.

....Cigarette smoking produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain. The nicotine in inhaled tobacco smoke moves from the lungs, into the bloodstream and up to the smoker's brain within 7 to 10 seconds. Once there, nicotine triggers a number of chemical reactions that create temporary feelings of pleasure for the smoker, but these sensations are short-lived, subsiding within minutes. As the nicotine level drops in the blood, smokers feel edgy and agitated -- the start of nicotine withdrawal. So, in order to relieve the discomforts, smokers light up another cigarette, and continue the vicious cycle of addiction.

....Most smokers report that one reason they smoke is to handle stress. When we're stressed, the urge to smoke can be intense. Urges to smoke as a result of stressful situations can and will happen occasionally as you recover from this addiction. Smokers, feel a need of the cigarettes to calm. It doesn’t mean you need to smoke, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail. In fact, smoking creates more stress.Smoking won’t make anything in your life better. It won’t relieve stress, and it won’t fix problems.

....The release from nicotine addiction comes gradually, as you erase old associations and habits, replacing them with new, healthier choices. Stress is part of life, and learning how to manage it smoke-free is part of successful cessation. In time, you'll find that stress is more easily managed smoke-free than it ever was when you were smoking.





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