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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

Whether addiction is a disease is a hotly debated issue. Some clinicians argue that it is, citing the similarity in success rates for the treatment of addiction and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. For them, calling addiction a disease also has pragmatic implications, because it means that insurance companies have to ... Read More »
A person who wonders if they are addicted to something probably has a reason for their query. Usually, there is some innate suspicion, concern or fear. This is no different from a person who knows the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and may be having periodic chest pain. There is hope that the person will seek medical attention promptly in ... Read More »
General: Most experts agree that a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors may predispose certain individuals to developing addictions. Substance abuse: Initially, individuals may abuse drugs to get high. This desire to get high may stem from underlying causes, such as depression, bipolar disorder, stress, or low ... Read More »

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