Friday, August 23, 2013

Nicotine Addiction Signs and symptoms

Nicotine Addiction Symptoms

Nicotine, a drug found in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, is addictive. It changes the brain in ways that make users crave it more and more. Nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break, according to the American Heart Association. Characteristics of this addiction are similar to those of addiction to other drugs, including heroin and cocaine, the AHA reports, citing the 1988 surgeon general's report "Nicotine Addiction."

Inability to Stop Smoking

The most common and straightforward symptom of nicotine addiction is an inability or unwillingness to stop smoking, according to Medline Plus. People who are addicted to nicotine may continue smoking in spite of health problems and against doctors' advice. They may even give up activities that don't allow smoking.

Psychological Symptoms of Withdrawal

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop smoking or using other tobacco products is another sign of nicotine addiction. Psychological withdrawal symptoms include irritability, impatience, hostility, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and feeling depressed, according to the AHA. Most withdrawal symptoms from nicotine addiction go away within a week, according to Medline Plus.

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal

Common physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal (and thus addiction) are decreased heart rate, headaches, drowsiness, increased appetite and weight gain, according to Medline Plus. The severity of your symptoms depends on the extent of your nicotine addiction--how many cigarettes you smoked in a typical day, for example, and how long you were a smoker.


People who are addicted to nicotine may experience some of these symptoms, possibly in a milder form, if they switch from regular to low-nicotine cigarettes or drastically decrease the number of cigarettes they smoke, according to Medline Plus. Regular smokers are likely to experience the worst nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms at times and places they associate with smoking.


Primary types of treatment for nicotine addiction, according to Medline Plus, are nicotine-replacement therapy and non-nicotine medication. Nicotine-replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum, are designed to gradually wean you off nicotine by putting small amounts of it in your bloodstream. They are usually available over-the-counter. Non-nicotine medicines, such as bupropion, affect brain chemistry in ways that mimic some of the effects of nicotine and may be particularly effective when used in conjunction with a smoking-cessation program.

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