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Smoking Addiction & Recovery Information

  • Tobacco smoke contains a stimulant nicotine which forms a strong physical and psychological chemical dependence (addiction). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that nicotine is a "very addictive drug" that can be "as addictive as heroin or cocaine." Dependence is strongest when tobacco smoke is inhaled into the lungs and increases with quantity and speed of nicotine absorption. Nicotine is typically eliminated from the body within 2 to 3 days, however, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms may last for much longer depending on the individual...
  • In small doses nicotine has a stimulating effect, increasing activity, alertness and memory. Repeat users report a pleasant relaxing effect. It also increases the heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the appetite. In large doses it may cause vomiting and nausea. Nicotine is poisonous to most animals and also to the human being.

    Nicotine seems to provide both a stimulant and a depressant effect, and it is likely that the effect it has at any time is determined by the mood of the user, the environment and the circumstances of use. Studies have suggested that low doses have a stimulant effect, whilst higher doses have depressant effect.

    Repeat users of nicotine very often develop a physical dependency to the chemical. A report released on May 16, 1988, by United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine. Physical withdrawal symptoms include irritability, headaches, anxiety, cognitive disturbances and sleep disruption. These symptoms peak at around 48-72 hours and generally cease after two to six weeks.

  • Click to expand

View Top Smoking Addiction and Recovery Answers at sharecare.com

Health Blogs

Here are some ways to reduce the risks of drug use: - Know the drug(s) you are taking. Be aware of the potential short- and long-term effects of any drug you take.
Teens initially smoke cigarettes and use illegal drugs to fit in. Hanging with the “druggies” stands-in for team activities. They form a not-so-elite club that welcomes everyone, as long as everyone is smoking, snorting or drinking something!
... Read More »
You can overcome an addiction by first admitting you have a problem and seeking treatment. "Overcoming" an addiction is different from "curing" an addiction. If you had diabetes and went to a diabetes clinic, you would be "treated" for diabetes. By the same token, addicts are "treated" for a disease called addiction.

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Community Advisors
Dr. Kimberly Dennis
Psychiatrist,
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Michele Borba
Psychology

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