Researchers unanimously agree that smoking wreaks have on the body. Heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and death are all side effects of smoking cigarettes.
Nicotine is an extremely addictive chemical that’s present in tobacco. It is a toxic stimulant that causes a surge in feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. According to experts at the University of San Francisco Medical Center, nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. For this reason, quitting is a difficult task for many. Nicotine is named after the tobacco plant Nicotiana tabacum.
The alternating cycle of addiction and withdrawal can be overpowering. Even so, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 68 percent of the nation’s adult smokers say they want to fully quit the habit. Common symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal include increased appetite, stress, anxiety and irritability. These feelings are thought to be particularly intense during the first week of quitting. Given these extreme reactions, experts do not advise quitting cold turkey. Instead, nicotine replacement therapy is recommended to help ease cravings. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), seeking counseling can help. Support groups like Nicotine Anonymous assist people with setting long-term goals for quitting. Every state in the U.S. also has a free telephone counseling program made up of trained counselors available to help people who are trying to quit. According to the ACS, smokers who use telephone counseling are twice as likely to quit smoking. In some cases, medication can help with quitting. This may include nicotine replacement therapy that comes in the form of patches, gum or lozenges. Drugs like Bupropion and Varenicline do not contain nicotine, but do help reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. Smokers are also advised to change up their everyday routines. This will help wear down the psychological dependence associated with smoking. For instance, people who usually smoke after dinner might find mealtimes to be a trigger.
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