Nicotine addiction means that there is a perpetual negative influence in a person’s life, continually eroding the individual’s health on a variety of fronts. Inhaling tobacco smoke does damage to virtually every organ in the body. Addiction results from the rush of adrenaline that nicotine stimulates, and also by indirectly causing a release of dopamine in the brain. Nicotine has multiple negative effects on the body. For example, it also suppresses insulin production by the pancreas, which makes smokers slightly hyperglycemic, and it increases blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. It is also associated with cancer of the mouth, larynx, stomach, and other forms of cancer. Smoking is also a significant contributor to the development of coronary heart disease and greatly increases the risk for stroke and vascular disease. Smoking exacerbates asthma in adults and exposure to tobacco smoke makes childhood asthma worse. Women who take oral contraceptives and smoke are particularly at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, and, if a woman smokes while she is pregnant, she increases the risk of having a baby who is stillborn, premature or has a low birth weight. Furthermore, research has shown that children born to women who smoke are at increased risk for developing conduct disorders. As this indicates, nicotine and smoking in general have widespread negative consequences that not only affect the smoker, but the smoker’s family and associates. Nicotine addiction reaches out with the potential to contaminate the health of the smoker’s family and friends.
Vicious Nicotine Addiction Cycle
This occurs because nicotine addiction creates a vicious cycle as it acts as both a stimulant and a sedative on the central nervous system. The initial effects of nicotine stimulate the body’s systems in various ways, but these changes dissipate fairly quickly as nicotine is metabolized. This means that stimulation is quickly followed by a sedative effect that may include depression and fatigue. This reaction leads the smoker to reach for another cigarette. As the dangers of smoking tobacco products are well known, eventually the vast majority of smokers try to quit. This is when the addictive nature of nicotine becomes painfully evident to the smoker.
Withdrawal From Nicotine
As people withdraw from nicotine addiction, they experience an intense craving for the drug, along with feelings of irritability, anxiety, and attention deficits. Symptoms may also include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, headaches, problems with concentrating, stomach upset or drowsiness. Products designed to help cope with nicotine addiction, such as nicotine patches, gum or inhalers, can alleviate some of these symptoms, but smokers still have to cope with loss of an engrained habit. In other words, the ritual of handling, lighting and smoking is also habitual. Unfortunately, most smokers fail to win their battles against their addiction, but some do succeed, which is a goal achieved by combining strategies and aids that work for that individual. This fact shows that it is possible to kick the nicotine addiction if perseverance, dedication and realistic planning are applied to the problem.