Nicotine dependence occurs when you need nicotine and can't stop using it. Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that makes it hard to quit. Nicotine produces pleasing effects in your brain, but these effects are temporary. So you reach for another cigarette.
The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good. When you try to stop, you experience unpleasant mental and physical changes. These are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
SYMPTOMS OF NICOTINE ADDICTION
For some people, using any amount of tobacco can quickly lead to nicotine dependence. Signs that you may be addicted include:
- You can't stop smoking.You've made one or more serious, but unsuccessful, attempts to stop.
- You have withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.Your attempts at stopping have caused physical and mood-related symptoms, such as strong cravings, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood, frustration, anger, increased hunger, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea.
- You keep smoking despite health problems.Even though you've developed health problems with your lungs or your heart, you haven't been able to stop.
- You give up social activities.You may stop going to smoke-free restaurants or stop socializing with family or friends because you can't smoke in these situations.
CAUSES OF NICOTINE ADDICTION
Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that keeps you smoking. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds of taking a puff. In the brain, nicotine increases the release of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and behavior.
Dopamine, one of these neurotransmitters, is released in the reward center of the brain and causes feelings of pleasure and improved mood.
The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good. Nicotine quickly becomes part of your daily routine and intertwined with your habits and feelings.
Common situations that trigger the urge to smoke include:
- Drinking coffee or taking breaks at work
- Talking on the phone
- Drinking alcohol
- Driving your car
- Spending time with friends
RISK FACTORS OF NICOTINE ADDICTION
Anyone who smokes or uses other forms of tobacco is at risk of becoming dependent. Factors that influence who will use tobacco include:
- Most people begin smoking during childhood or the teen years. The younger you are when you begin smoking, the greater the chance that you'll become addicted.
- The likelihood that you will start smoking and keep smoking may be partly inherited. Genetic factors may influence how receptors on the surface of your brain's nerve cells respond to high doses of nicotine delivered by cigarettes.
- Parents and peers.Children who grow up with parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers. Children with friends who smoke are also more likely to try it.
- Depression or other mental illness.Many studies show an association between depression and smoking. People who have depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or other forms of mental illness are more likely to be smokers.
- Substance use.People who abuse alcohol and illegal drugs are more likely to be smokers.
COMPLICATIONS OF NICOTINE ADDICTION
Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 known cancer-causing chemicals and thousands of other harmful substances. Even "all natural" or herbal cigarettes have harmful chemicals. But you may not realize just how many different health problems smoking causes:
- Lung cancer and lung disease.
- Other cancers.Smoking increases the risk of many types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, throat (pharynx), esophagus, larynx, bladder, pancreas, kidney, cervix and some types of leukemia. Overall, smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths.
- Heart and circulatory system problems.
- Eye problems.Smoking can increase your risk of serious eye problems such as cataracts and loss of eyesight from macular degeneration.
- Infertility and impotence.
- Complications during pregnancy.
- Cold, flu and other illnesses.
- Tooth and gum disease.
PREVENTION OF NICOTINE ADDICTION
The best way to prevent nicotine dependence is to not use tobacco in the first place.
The best way to keep children from smoking is to not smoke yourself. Research has shown that children whose parents do not smoke or who successfully quit smoking are much less likely to take up smoking.
HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR NICOTINE ADDICTION
Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced all over the world. It strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels. When is concerned there are many effective medicines available in Homoeopathy , but the selection depends upon the individuality of the patient , considering mental and physical symptoms
Few homoeopathic medicine can be thought of in the treatment of nicotine addiction are:
asarum, carbolic acid, coca, daphine, carbo veg., etc.