Why smoking is hard to quit?


Nicotine addiction is not treated overnight and generally represents a chronic health problem. It is not the smoker’s fault that it is a chronic condition. Do you know that Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance which is even more addictive than heroin? This addiction is easy to develop. Research indicates that 50% of smokers are nicotine addicts.

Smoking is typically a source of nicotine. People who are addicted to nicotine mostly get it from smoking. Nicotine is addictive at a young age that’s why people start smoking in their teens. But its treatment is fairly difficult and mostly it requires long term treatment.

Smoking can cause many diseases. These include lung cancer, respiratory disorders, and cardiac disorders. On average, a smoker dies 11 years before a non-smoker does. There is a link between smoking and diseases. Scientists haven’t found the mechanism by which smoking cause diseases. Also, no one knows the direct role of nicotine in causing diseases but nicotine can harm the body in a multitude of ways. Even a small amount is enough for causing harm.

There are some receptors for nicotine in the body, most of which are in the brain. When we take in nicotine, it attaches to receptors. Then the brain releases dopamine chemical which gives a feeling of satisfaction. Usually, the human body becomes addicted to this feeling. So, whenever the body gets nicotine, it makes the person feel satisfied. Sometimes the effect of nicotine is more calming than satisfying but these effects vary from person to person.

Is there anything like ‘Nicotine-free’?

E-cigarettes seem a better alternative to cigarettes. Evidence suggests that they contain many fluid substances. These fluids are not healthy for the body.  Contrary to the hype, there is no such thing as nicotine-free e-cigarettes. All e-cigarettes contain some amount of nicotine and they absolutely don’t help in quitting smoking. However, they may help as replacement therapy.

The studies suggest that tobacco producers want to sell nicotine at any cost. According to science, nicotine is addictive. So conclusively, nicotine is the real product. Nowadays people are focusing on tobacco-free products. They should rather focus on getting products without nicotine.

This case is not possible at the moment. So, finding the right type of product is a real problem. It does not really matter where does the nicotine come from i.e. it comes from cigarette, snus or E-cigarette. But it would not make any difference on which product do you use. The real problem is nicotine which is present in every such product.

Another damage of nicotine is that it affects human emotions. It disturbs the natural thought patterns which may lead to behavioral change. It happens because nicotine affects the prefrontal region of the brain. This region is responsible for regulating emotions. However, scientists do not know the precise sites of action yet.

All this information leads to stop believing on commercial products that look fancy but are actually damaging for the health. It also opens new debate for the need of safer recreational products.



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Areeba Hussain
The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.


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