Tobacco and nicotine can be addictive like alcohol, cocaine, and morphine.
Withdrawal from nicotine; Smoking – nicotine addiction and withdrawal; Smokeless tobacco – nicotine addiction; Cigar smoking; Pipe smoking; Smokeless snuff; Tobacco use; Chewing tobacco; Nicotine addiction and tobacco
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are smoked, chewed, or sniffed for a variety of effects.
- Tobacco contains a chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance.
- Tobacco also contains more than 19 known chemicals that can cause cancer. As a group, these are called “tar.” More than 4,000 other chemicals can be found in tobacco.
Millions of people in the United States have successfully quit smoking. Although the number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped in recent years, the number of smokeless tobacco users has steadily increased. Smokeless tobacco products are either placed in the mouth, cheek, or lip and sucked or chewed on, or placed in the nasal passage. Nicotine in smokeless tobacco is absorbed at the same rate as smoking tobacco, and addiction is still very strong.
Nicotine use can have many different effects on the body:
- Decreases the appetite (for this reason, the fear of weight gain affects some people’s willingness to stop smoking).
- Boosts mood and may even relieve minor depression. Many people will feel a sense of well-being.
- Increases activity of your intestines
- Creates more saliva and phlegm.
- Increases heart rate by around 10 to 20 beats per minute.
- Increases blood pressure by 5 to 10 mmHg.
- May cause sweating, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Stimulates memory and alertness. People who use tobacco often depend on it to help them accomplish certain tasks and perform well.
You may notice symptoms of nicotine withdrawal within 2 – 3 hours after you last use tobacco. People who smoked the longest or smoked a greater number of cigarettes each day are more likely to have withdrawal symptoms. For those who are quitting, symptoms will peak about 2 – 3 days later. Common symptoms include:
An intense craving for nicotine
Drowsiness or trouble sleeping, as well as bad dreams and nightmares
Feeling tense, restless, or frustrated
Increased appetite and weight gain
You may notice some or all of these symptoms when switching from regular to low-nicotine cigarettes or cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked.
It is hard to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. But anyone can do it. There are many ways
There are also resources to help you. Family members, friends, and co-workers may be supportive. Quitting tobacco is difficult if you are acting alone.
To be successful, you must really want to quit. Most people who have quit smoking were unsuccessful at least once in the past. Try not to view past attempts to quit as failures. See them as learning experiences.
Most smokers find it hard to break all the habits they have created around smoking.
People who are trying to quit smoking often become discouraged when they don’t succeed at first. Research shows that the mor etimes you try, the more likely you are to succeed — so don’t give up! If you aren’t successful the first time you try to quit, look at what worked or didn’t work, think of new ways to quit smoking, and try again. Many attempts are often needed to finally break the habit.
There are many more reasons to quit using tobacco. Knowing the serious health risks may help motivate you to quit. When used over a long period, tobacco and related chemicals such as tar and nicotine can increase your risk of many health problems.
Calling your health care provider
See your health care provider if you wish to stop smoking, or have already done so and are having withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can help recommend treatments. Some are only available by prescription.