Nicotine is a toxin within the tobacco plant, and its main function would be to serve as deterrent in terms of insects wanting to eat the plant. Nicotine is reported to be more lethal than arsenic, venoms of different snakes, strychnine, etc. Interestingly though, once nicotine reaches the reward pathways in the mind, a surge of dopamine is released, resulting in the much spoken about ‘aah’ factor.
The most common method of nicotine finding its way into our system is through tobacco smoke. It is due to the nicotine present in the cigarette that the act of smoking seems pleasurable. And nicotine is without a doubt the biggest reason that the cigarette industry continues to grow at a steady pace. However, smoking counts as a significant preventable reason behind death/disease, and also causes a significant number of premature deaths each year.
Tobacco smoke includes a plethora of chemicals, and nicotine is amongst the primary ones. Do know that smokeless tobacco contains nicotine aswell. Nicotine dependency is considered to be amongst the hardest to break, and also when a smoker witnesses the damage that nicotine can cause first-hand, smoking can be quite difficult to quit. While it may be the nicotine that keeps a smoker coming back for more, the other constituents present in cigarettes result in a considerably higher rate of cancer, strokes, and heart & lung diseases in smokers. Nicotine dependency may also result in infertility, complications during pregnancy and also complications in a new baby baby’s health.
THE CONSEQUENCES of Nicotine:
Not merely does nicotine work in the torso releasing dopamine, it also activates the pathways that release adrenaline and serotonin, thereby impacting impulsivity and mood. Over a period the physical changes build a new ‘neuro chemical’ system which revolves entirely around the presence of nicotine within the system. At this stage, the average person is truly addicted. Attempts to avoid using nicotine at this stage or later would almost definitely bring about withdrawal symptoms. The protective adjustments created by the brain would ensure that any attempt designed to stop smoking would bring about discomfort because the brain’s circuitry senses the lack of nicotine as a cause for concern.
More than fifteen thousand Australians die due to smoking each year, and is the largest ‘preventable’ cause of early death and disease. The percentage of people aged over 14 who smoke everyday in Australia has gone down considerably, from 30.5% in 1988 right down to 16.6% in 2007. www.puffandpouch.com Across the world, 10 % of the adult population smokes; and in america this figure stands at 20%. In the US alone around 440,000 people die every year due to tobacco related illnesses. Now, you can find around 1.3-1.4 billion smokers on earth, with a large chunk living in developing countries. And given the ongoing trends, by 2020 tobacco would account for approximately 10 million deaths every year.
Facts about Nicotine Dependency:
Nicotine is poisonous, and the reason that reason a smoker does not immediately die is due to the minuscule levels of nicotine within each cigarette.
Nicotine is highly addictive, and nicotine dependency is often weighed against heroin and cocaine dependency with regards to difficulty to quit.
Relapses are very common in efforts to give up smoking.
Apart from nicotine, cigarettes have over 4,000 different chemicals; a lot of which are carcinogenic (cancer causing substances).
Smoking for around 15 years, at about 20 cigarettes per day, should bring about about one kg of tar in a smoker’s lungs.
A regular smoker’s life expectancy would go down by around 7 to 8 years (at about 7 to 8 minutes per cigarette).
Every month, tobacco companies in Australia lose around 12,000 customers. While around 10,000 have the ability to quit, almost all of the others are ones who’ve passed away because of smoking related illnesses.
Data collected from the ‘Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’ demonstrates almost 80% of the smokers have tried quitting at least once, and within the last year more than 30% have tried stopping.
The Alternatives – Quitting Help:
Nicotine Free Cigarettes:
Nicotine free cigarettes are ones that do not contain any tobacco or nicotine. One will discover a number of brands when it comes to these nicotine free cigarettes, and these cigarettes use various herbs/plants as a base. These cigarettes tend to be used as substitutes to smoking conventional cigarettes, and a number of people utilize them as nicotine cessation aids. However, due to the various compounds present in these cigarettes, smoking them isn’t entirely safe, with research showing that they too can be carcinogenic.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy:
Nicotine replacement therapy identifies a smoker quitting smoking but using a different medium to obtain his/her quota of nicotine supply. Different NRT aids include nicotine gums, patches, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays. The utilization of NRT aids is said to increase the likelihood of quitting by around 50%, but in order to achieve success, additional support that is provided to the average person by means of counselling, etc. also play an important role. When a person stops smoking, these aids continue to supply him/her with the nicotine that is required to help keep the withdrawal symptoms away, and the consumption of nicotine through this route is regulated and gradually reduced. The use of nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking is normally is 8 to 12 week long exercise.
Even though a growing number of smokers continue to battle their nicotine dependency, increasing numbers of people continue steadily to smoke their first cigarette. The sensation of euphoria that’s often linked to smoking is a result of the nicotine present therein, and this is what keeps the smoker returning for more. The good thing is that awareness in everyone is increasing, and help to battle nicotine dependency comes in various forms. So if you desire to fight nicotine dependency and believe that it is an uphill battle, at the very least take heart in understanding that there’s plenty of help that you could avail of.