Addiction to Smoking: 5 Deadly Facts

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

A lot of people, especially the teens, underestimate the addictive power of cigarettes. This is probably because cigarettes are legal and considered as ‘less dangerous’ than many illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. But a growing body of research shows how dangerous addiction to smoking is.

Facts about Smoking Addiction

1)   Smoking is literally a deadly habit. Addiction to smoking is expected to happy-people-concept--young-w2)   Nicotine addiction begins in the brain. It’s hard to tackle addiction to smoking without talking about the brain, where the pleasure center of your body is. The nicotine in cigarettes, which is an addictive drug, reaches your brain within a few minutes after your first puff. It then stimulates your ‘reward system’ by increasing the production of dopamine – the ‘feel good’ hormone that promotes feelings of pleasure. Actually, after your first puff, 50 percent of your brain’s dopamine pathway receptors will be occupied by nicotine. Even though enhanced dopamine flow is associated with all chemical addictions, each chemical differs on how long they are able to make that stimulation last. They also vary in the level of ‘high’ sensations because they interact with different receptors in the brain.

3)  Smoking addiction is a mental illness. Nicotine dependency, like alcohol and substance abuse, is considered a mental illness. And when it comes to addiction, there is only one rule. Once you successfully eliminated the habit, just one – just one cigarette – and your

DID YOU KNOW?

Once you successfully eliminated the habit, just one – just one cigarette – and your addiction will come back, even after not smoking for so many years.

addiction will come back, even after not smoking for so many years.

4)  Some people quit easier than others. You might wonder – why do some people never get addicted to nicotine after smoking several times? Why do some people find it easier to quit while others don’t? Referred to as ‘chippers’, these people account for less than 10 percent of smokers. Don’t take chances. If you are not a smoker, don’t start. After all, it brings no good to your health.

5)  A lot of young people are hooked to cigarettes. 86 percent of students who smoke at least once a day are chemically dependent under the DSM standards. The sad thing is that because they start at a very young age, these people have the highest risk of developing serious health problems later in life.

The good news is that we are far smarter than any type of addiction, and that full recovery is possible. While the first few days of quitting might feel like an emotional roller coaster ride, things will get better over time, and the challenges will grow fewer and the withdrawal symptoms will become less intense.


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