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Nicotine Addiction – Myths & Facts

Many publications and even some commercials have made statements that nicotine is a poison that kills, but is it true? Nicotine is said to be both a bad habit that people can just lay down, but others claim that it is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The claims that nicotine is used in insecticides have been circulating for years, so is it? All of these informational tidbits sound unreasonable and unbelievable; however the part about just laying them down seems reasonable. Which is the truth and which is fiction? Is nicotine deadly, or just someone’s mission to put the tobacco industry under? Here we will expose some of the most common myths and shed light on the truth about nicotine addiction.

Myth: Those addicted to nicotine products are weak, or else they would just quit the habit!

Fact: Any type of addiction is not centered on strength, because even the strongest people fall victim to something. Since everyone has their vice, we cannot make the general statement that smokers or chewers are simply weak. Nicotine addiction, just like all other addictions, has some habits associated; however the actual addiction is far more than just a habit. In order to quit it takes much dedication, education, withdrawals and a strong support network.

Myth: Nicotine is not addictive and if it is it is not as bad as illegal drugs.

Fact: Nicotine is highly addictive, regardless of what the cigarette manufacturers have said in years past. While in treatment most nicotine addicts have claimed that their cessation of illegal drugs was easier to quit than cigarettes. Nicotine if often compared to the addiction of heroin and cocaine. Addiction is addiction, it simply doesn’t matter to what!

Myth: Nicotine could not be a poison or they couldn’t sell it.

Fact: Nicotine is derived from the leaves of the tobacco plant, which is meant as a deterrent to insects chewing on it. It is used in pesticides and said to be deadly in even a small drop. It is true that nicotine is used in pesticides and is more deadly than arsenic or strychnine. It can be sold because it is administered in such minute quantities that it doesn’t kill immediately, just slowly through years of consumption.

Myth: Gums, patches and other cessation products are the only way to quit.

Fact: The latest research has shown that all the cessation products are no more effective than a commitment to stop by the person along with some professional treatment. Education about how nicotine affects the body and changing the mind altering effects is the most effective manner by which to stop all nicotine usage.

Myth: Nicotine is not an addiction.

Fact: Nicotine addiction is as real as any other addiction on the books. In fact, some professionals believe that it is one of the most addictive because it is somewhat accepted. It is not illegal, leading some to believe that it must be ok, since it isn’t forbidden.
Those suffering from nicotine addiction should be taken very seriously. They must have help to stop the cravings, withdrawals and negative effects of this drug on their body. It is true that nicotine is out of the bloodstream within 72 hours from last ingestation, however that doesn’t mean that the cravings stop for another several weeks. Cessation is not easy, but it can be done with commitment, education and the help of others.

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Nicotine Addiction – An Overview

With every news report there is something about the harms of nicotine and how cigarettes are the new killer. Most offices, businesses and even restaurants have begun banning the use of cigarettes in and around their buildings. Some entire cities have ban smoking all together not only because the personal harms, but environmental as well. Those that suffer from nicotine addiction have trouble quitting with this being one of the toughest addictions to quit. The difficult feat of laying cigarettes or other nicotine products down is often discounted by others making the journey even more trying. Read on for more information about nicotine and what one, who is addicted, might expect or experience.

It Is Just A Cigarette Or Chew, What’s The Big Deal

The problem with the fact that it is just a cigarette or chew is that it contains a deadly ingredient. Nicotine is derived from the leaves of the tobacco plant, but it is actually very poisonous. Small drops of undiluted nicotine can kill a person much faster than arsenic or strychnine ever thought about. Another part of the chemical makeup of nicotine is that it takes only seconds to cross into the brain and alter hundreds of neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain). This leaves the smoker or dipper with an increased sense of peace or ‘awhhh’, with the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that has been found to increase mood and control emotions within humans. So, products containing nicotine, being highly addictive, change the chemical makeup of the brain, therefore leaving the individual with a quick addiction that is very hard to quit.

What Happens When A Nicotine Addict Tries To Quit

Of the millions that smoke most express the desire to quit or reduce the amount of nicotine laced products that they ingest. However, only 6% of them are successful, through any cessation method that they choose. This is because within a few hours of the last signs of nicotine the body begins waging a war on the well intended victim. Symptoms are both physical and mental and are comparable to light withdrawals of their more illegal counterparts. Symptoms can include anxiety, cognitive deficiencies (can’t think straight), changes in mood, increased appetite and cravings. Because these symptoms overwhelm most people and can last for up to two hours, the addict gives in. This is not an easy feat, just look at the statistics, only 6% successfully quit!

The Habit In Nicotine Addiction

Many people from professionals on down to the average citizen commonly refer to smoking and chewing tobacco as a habit. While the rituals associated with nicotine use may well be a habit, the addiction is far more than that. The only habits with smoking or dipping is the behaviors leading up to ingesting, lighting, purchasing, holding…get the point? When cravings are a part of the equation and the individual experiences any type of craving or discomfort while longing for the next nicotine fix, they are addicted. And, while there are no hard or fast rules as far as time lines, most people become addicted to nicotine products within a few months, not years like some claim.

Harms Of Nicotine

The harms of nicotine are quite lengthy, however here we will highlight the most common. These are the most commonly associated diseases of nicotine usage:
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Cancer
• Trouble with the throat, esophagus, tongue, mouth
• Increased risk of breathing diseases, COPD
• Malnutrition

Can Addicts Quit?

If the person’s heart is beating and they are breathing air on their own, they can give up nicotine. It takes education, support and a few days to rid of the changes that the nicotine has made within the brain, but it is possible. In fact, nicotine has left the bloodstream within 72 hours of the last ingestion. Withdrawals may be harsh for the first two to three days, but after that point the blood has returned and the body slows the desire for nicotine greatly. This is not to say that some will not experience the urge or craving because that can drag on for weeks, however with each day it diminishes. In order to quit, most people need an intervention. Either a family member or other loved one to stand by their side, supporting their desire to quit. There are many treatment options that individuals can try to help ease the cravings and withdrawals during this initial period. However, research has show that the most effective way to end nicotine addiction is to make a commitment within that it is a thing of the past and off limits.

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