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what is Nicotine Addiction

A lot of people think smoking is not addictive but the nicotine in cigarettes is just as addictive as any other drug because it becomes part of your system. This is why when you try to quit it you find that there is a lot of resistance from your mind and body. Nicotine changes the function of the brain in a way that creates a kind of dependency on this substance. This is why there are all the usual symptoms of withdrawal that one needs to face when trying to quit smoking. The characteristics of nicotine addiction were summarized in the year 1988 in the Surgeon General’s report that talked about how addictive tobacco really is and how nicotine is very much addictive even though some manufacturers keep denying it.

The report also concluded that the addictive behavior of nicotine was the same as that of drugs like cocaine and heroin. The typical half life of nicotine in the body is about two hours and the nicotine in the body gets metabolized by the liver and excreted from the kidney but the problem is the multiple dosing situations that come with smoking cigarettes. This is why there is a considerable amount of accumulation over time. In such a scenario, the nicotine will persist in the blood at very high levels until about eight hours even when the smoking has halted. Quitting smoking becomes more difficult because nicotine affects the neurotransmitter dopamine in the human brain and the disturbed dopamine functions makes you crave nicotine just like one craves food and water for survival.

Nicotine addiction needs just as much support from counseling and family members as there is need for support in all other types of addictions. Even though cigarette companies may not be telling you this, but one can get hooked onto a cigarette the first time they try it even – that is how addictive nicotine can be. 



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