Nicotine addiction facts are not really helpful on a personal level unless they enable us to quit smoking. When I drank I smoked like a chimney. Since nearly everyone I knew when I was drinking smoked too. I thought I would put something on the blog about it. The personal stuff is from my experience. The facts are from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Nicotine Addiction Facts:
- Nicotine is the psychoactive drug in tobacco products that produces dependence. Most smokers are dependent on nicotine.
- Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.
- Quitting smoking is difficult and may require multiple attempts. Users often relapse because of stress, weight gain, and withdrawal symptoms.
- Examples of nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite.
Smoking cessation is associated with the following health benefits:
- Smoking cessation lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer.
- Smoking cessation reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Coronary heart disease risk is substantially reduced within 1 to 2 years of cessation.
- Smoking cessation reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The rate of decline in lung function is slower among persons who quit smoking.
- Smoking cessation reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
- Smoking cessation by women during their reproductive years reduces the risk for infertility. Women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.
Giving up Nicotine:
Among current U.S. adult smokers, 68.8% report that they want to quit completely, and millions have attempted to quit smoking. Starting in 2002, the number of former smokers has exceeded the number of current smokers.
Percentage of adult smokers who stopped smoking for more than 1 day in 2010 because they were trying to quit:
- 52.4% of all adult smokers (23.7 million people)
- 62.4% of smokers aged 18–24 years
- 56.9% of smokers aged 25–44 years
- 45.5% of smokers aged 45–64 years
- 43.5% of smokers aged 65 years or older
Method to Quit the Smoking Habit:
The majority of cigarette smokers quit without using evidence-based cessation treatments. However, the following treatments are proven effective for smokers who want help to quit:
- Brief clinical interventions (i.e., when a doctor takes 10 minutes or less to deliver advice and assistance about quitting)
- Counseling (e.g., individual, group, or telephone counseling)
- Behavioral cessation therapies (e.g., training in problem solving)
- Treatments with more person-to-person contact and intensity (e.g., more time with counselors)
Cessation medications found to be effective for treating tobacco dependence include the following:
- Nicotine replacement products
- Over-the-counter (e.g., nicotine patch, gum, lozenge)
- Prescription (e.g., nicotine inhaler, nasal spray)
- Prescription non-nicotine medications, such as bupropion SR (Zyban®) and varenicline tartrate (Chantix®).
The combination of medication and counseling is more effective for smoking cessation than either medication or counseling alone.
Here is a government website to help you explore methods for quitting smoking. Explore Quit Methods.
How can the above Nicotine Addiction Facts help you. You can share them with your family. This could help them understand what you are going through and possible get them to cut you a little slack. Maybe share this information with you work colleagues or whomever else has to be around you. Not everyone turns into a dick when they quit but many people do.