Nicotine Addiction: Effects, Symptoms, And Risk Factors

Nicotine Addiction

Most of us do not have a proper understanding and knowledge about addiction, but when it comes to nicotine addiction, we know the basic details. Reports say that around 50 million individuals in the United States are into any form of tobacco addiction.

So, your loved one is not the only one who is suffering from this.

Although, in any case, you might know some basics about tobacco addiction, that will not be enough when you are planning to help your loved one and want to take the individual out from the addiction world.

That is why, here, in this article, we are going to help you with a thorough guide on nicotine addiction. Let’s start with what nicotine addiction actually is.

What Nicotine Addiction Is

Most of us know that it is a highly addictive chemical that is found in the tobacco plant. Nicotine addiction is both physical and mental. That means the individual comes to crave the chemical and also consciously desires the effects of nicotine.

At the same time, this addiction can be behavioral as well; it means the user becomes dependable on the actions involved in nicotine usage. The users usually become accustomed to using tobacco in some particular situations, like when they are under stress or after meals.

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All The Effects Of Nicotine Addiction

Both in the body and mind, nicotine creates pleasant feelings. When you are using tobacco, your brain releases some neurotransmitters, like the feel-good chemical dopamine. This particular chemical creates a short feeling of pleasure and contentment.

Apart from nicotine, smokeless tobacco and tobacco cigarettes also contain several cancer-causing agents along with some other harmful chemicals. In tobacco, almost 4,000 chemicals are found, which have mental, psychological, and physical effects.

Tobacco addiction comes with a long list of health complications. They are as follows.

  • Emphysema.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Chronic bronchitis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Stroke.
  • Heart disease.
  • Leukemia.
  • Impotence.
  • Infertility.
  • Eye issues, like macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Peptic ulcer disease.
  • Loss of sense of smell and taste.
  • Weekend immune system.
  • Pregnancy complications and miscarriage.
  • Flu, colds, and respiratory infections.
  • The appearance of premature aging.
  • Dental issues and gum aging.

Secondary or passive smoking also increases the chances of lung cancer and heart disease among those people who are close to smokers. As per the CDCP or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are living in homes with secondhand smoke are more exposed to the following health issues.

  • Ear infections.
  • Respiratory infections.
  • Asthma.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Some other illnesses.

The Reason Behind Nicotine Addiction

Smoking cigarettes or using any other form of tobacco products are usually the reasons behind developing tobacco addiction. To be really honest, nicotine is too addictive, and infrequent use can even lead to dependence.

On the other hand, smoking cessation products, like nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges, might cause nicotine addiction as well. However, the risk is low in this case. The reason behind this is the amount of nicotine present in these products is lower and also delivered more slowly in comparison to nicotine in tobacco.

Symptoms Of Nicotine Addiction

Here are the basic signs of nicotine addiction.

  • An inability to stop using tobacco products.
  • When nicotine use stops, withdrawal symptoms.
  • A strong desire to continue smoking even when health complications arise.
  • Even though it negatively impacts your life, the use of tobacco products continues.

The Diagnosis

For diagnosing a nicotine addiction, your doctor will have a discussion with you regarding your health history and usage. The medical professional will determine the degree of your dependence and also might suggest treatment options.

Individuals who want to seek treatment for addiction would need to commit to stopping nicotine.

The Treatment

When it comes to the treatment, the physical part of nicotine addiction can be the most challenging to deal with. For being successful, the individual must pay attention to changing routines and behaviors.

Particularly for nicotine addiction, a number of treatment options are available. They include nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication, and support groups.

1: Medications

There are some particular medications that can actually assist you in quitting smoking. All of them usually work on lessening the cravings. One of the most popular options is nicotine replacement therapy via lozenges, gums, patches, nasal sprays, or inhalers.

All of these options are actually providing nicotine, but without the other chemicals that are found in tobacco. In a slow and methodical manner, they let you defeat the addiction—the non-nicotine options involve antidepressants. For improving your mood, they work on increasing the dopamine level.

2: Home Care

The treatment of nicotine addiction majorly focused on medications and taking the time to work through withdrawal symptoms along with learning coping skills. Here are some suggestions for you.

  • Make a routine of regular exercise.
  • Remove all types of tobacco products from your home.
  • Choose some snacks which will keep your mouth and hand busy.
  • Opt for healthy meals.
  • Avoid all those situations which might trigger a relapse, including being around other smokers.
  • Set small goals, and do not forget to reward yourself for meeting those particular goals.
  • About your treatment, set realistic expectations.

3: Support Groups

You can choose a virtual or an in-person support group. The role of support groups is to teach you some coping mechanisms, which will help you work through your addiction and will also offer you fellowship with other people suffering from the same challenges as you.

4: Alternative And Natural Remedies

Here are some other solutions that can actually assist you in overcoming your nicotine addiction.

  • Essential oils.
  • Herbs.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Hypnosis.

The Effects Of Nicotine Withdrawal

Those individuals who are addicted to nicotine will experience withdrawal when they stop using nicotine. Here are some of the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Although the first week will be worse with withdrawal, with every passing day, things will become easier. Even though the withdrawal symptoms have moderated, the user can expect sudden cravings. Learning discipline is important for those situations.


Individuals with nicotine addiction are exposed to increased respiratory diseases risks, cancers, and also heart diseases. You can mitigate the risk of all these issues just by quitting nicotine usage.

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