What makes someone crave a cigarette? Why do people struggle to quit smoking despite knowing the health implications? What makes cigarette smoking as addictive as heroin and cocaine?
The answer to all of these questions is the same — Nicotine.
What is nicotine?
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical compound. When delivered into our body through cigarettes, it alters brain functioning, causing cravings and leading to dependence.
Some tobacco products contain additives that enhance the absorption of nicotine in the body.
What happens after nicotine enters our body?
After cigarette smoke enters the lungs, nicotine is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream and heads to the brain. It stimulates the release of the pleasure chemical ‘dopamine’ in the brain.
The brain experiences euphoria and a change in mood. With time, the brain starts craving this feel-good hormone, which reinforces you to smoke.
Additionally, nicotine enhances energy in some users due to its reaction with the adrenal glands to release adrenaline (another chemical) into the body.
This adrenaline rush is subtle, but good enough to increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds from a puff. However, its effects are short-term. This is why the smoker experiences irritation and discomfort and gets an urge to light up again. This cycle continues.
The body’s adaption to nicotine encourages the smoker to feel comfortable with nicotine and smoke more. This is known as tolerance, i.e. it takes more nicotine to derive the same effect attained previously with fewer cigarettes.
Physical addiction to nicotine is different for different people. Some smokers may experience mild addiction; others may develop a severe addiction. For the latter group, the uncontrollable urge to smoke is known as a craving
Repeated nicotine exposure alters the brain’s sensitivity to dopamine, thus leading to changes in other parts of the brain corresponding to learning, stress, and self-control. It is these long-term changes that trigger withdrawal symptoms and weaken your will to quit smoking.
Nicotine replacement therapies can help
FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are designed to deliver nicotine to the brain in small amounts. This nicotine is devoid of the toxic chemicals present in cigarette smoke. NRTs are safe and effective. They help relieve cravings and reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Quit smoking with Smotect
Smotect offers guided sessions to help you quit smoking. These are a step-by-step video series designed by quit-smoking experts based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. These clinically-tested sessions help:
- Manage cravings and withdrawals through tools and techniques.
- You cope with slips and relapses effectively.
- Make you aware of your psychological triggers and smoking patterns.
Our guided sessions significantly increase your chance of quitting smoking by 10 times. Additionally, we offer Smotect natural tablets to help you quit smoking. These scientific formulations of 12 therapeutic herbs are:
- 100% safe and natural
Smotect natural tablets help repair your lungs and other vital organs, such as the heart, brain and skin, from the impact of several years of smoking.
Smoking is addictive. Agreed. Quitting smoking is not impossible. Trust Smotect as your unfailing partner in embracing a healthy and smoke-free life.