Addictive Quality of Nicotine


By: Nikki Nies

Original Image by Maxwell GS via Flickr
Original Image by Maxwell GS via Flickr

Everyone knows smoking’s bad for you.  Our government and health organizations have gone to great strides to curb the number of people smoking.  However, heart disease is the number one killer of men and many diseases could be lessened or prevented if one does not smoke.  Smokers are the more susceptible to getting lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, and asthma, etc.

I was curious to know what makes nicotine, the addictive part of cigarettes.  Many people I know want to kick the habit of smoking, but many succumb to relapse.  So, what is it about nicotine that gets “them.”  To better understand the biochemical aspect of how our bodies react to nicotine, health professionals can better cater to smoking population and work with them to completely quit and hopefully decrease the severity of many diseases.

Too much of anything is never good, but addiction, which is described as the continuation of a habit even though there is evidence of harm has been seen to occur with smokers.  Nicotine gives smokers a quick pleasing feeling, but coming down from the feeling can be detrimental to one health and can cause nicotine dependence–also known as an addiction of tobacco products.

Nicotine’s absorbed through the lungs since cigarette smoke’s acidic.  Conversely, pipe and cigar smoke is alkaline so it is not absorbed.

Although the addiction of nicotine is not associated with the same severity as heroine or cocaine, the impact can be just as powerful.  Nicotine’s considered a “reinforcing” drug, which means even though there are harmful effects, user’s come back for more.  On average, smokers need to smoke every 1-2 hours to “reinforce.”  Possible impact of nicotine on body:

  • May decrease appetite
  • Increased saliva and phlegm
  • May increase activity in intestines
  • Can increase blood pressure 5-10 mm Hg
  • Can increase heart rate 10-20 beats per minute
  • Brain waves altered
  • Constriction of blood vessels, causing a drop in temperature of extremities
  • May cause sweating, diarrhea and/or nausea

Those in defense of smoking, stating I don’t understand the concept of addiction or feel they’re not susceptible to these side effects don’t have to accept this information, but research has shown that these side effects are more common than not.  Just because you haven’t experienced these side effects yet, doesn’t mean you won’t.  Get ahead of the curve! Stop smoking before you develop heart disease and you’re required to change your habits, not because you want to, but because you have to!

Ways to quit:

  • Find a local support group
  • Discover what “triggers” you to smoke
  • Get the patch
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Medications to lessen withdrawal symptoms

What tips have helped you curb your addiction to nicotine? What support do you lean on most?

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000953.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nicotine-dependence/DS00307

http://www.maxkirsten.com/resources/resource_view.asp?id=6

4 thoughts on “Addictive Quality of Nicotine

  1. Attractive part of content. I simply stumbled upon
    your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I acquire
    in fact loved account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your feeds or even I success you access consistently fast.

    Like

  2. I have been surfing on-line greater than three hours nowadays, yet I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing
    article like yours. It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the net will likely be much more useful than ever before.

    Like

  3. Hello I am so thrilled I found your webpage, I really found you by accident,
    while I was browsing on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and
    would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round
    enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to go through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added
    your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the
    awesome b.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your positive feedback. I’m grateful you stumbled upon the blog and that you found some interest in it. Check out past posts when possible and it’s always great to hear the blog’s made a positive impact on readers. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s