Nicotine addiction effects quitting smoking Once and for all, when it comes to incentives to quit smoking, scare tactics don’t work. Women know that smoking causes lung cancer. They know that it raises their risk of stroke and heart attack a whopping tenfold if they also take birth control pills. Smokers and non-smokers alike are also now learning that smoking contributes to the cervix and pancreas. What’s more, it can lead to early menopause, fertility problems, and miscarriage. Chances are, if you smoke, you’ve tried to quit several times but just couldn’t kick the habit.
Nicotine Addiction Facts
In a survey, 73% of the 22 million American women who were smoking in one year said that they wanted to quit. But 80% of those who had tried to quit said that they couldn’t even manage to cut back. More than a third reported significant withdrawal symptoms: irritability, anxiety, hunger, fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, insomnia, constipation, and, of course, cigarette cravings.
What is nicotine addiction?
Nicotine is a stimulant and powerful parasympathomimetic alkaloid that is naturally produced in the nightshade family of plants and used for the treatment of tobacco use disorders as a smoking cessation aid and nicotine dependence for the relief of withdrawal symptoms. The truth is, cigarettes are just as addictive as cocaine or even heroin and equally hard to ditch.
Studies show that it’s very difficult for people to stop using products containing nicotine. Also, fear of weight gain, a common occurrence among ex-smokers, keeps many women from quitting. But it’s worth the effort to quit again. Smoking can lead to permanent damage.
Nicotine addiction withdrawal, by contrast, is only temporary. Here’s what you can do to minimize withdrawal symptoms and avoid weight gain: A few weeks before you plan to quit, try switching to a brand that’s lower in nicotine than what you currently smoke. Just make sure that you don’t smoke more cigarettes than usual or inhale more deeply, since that defeats the purpose.
If you can quit cold turkey, consider yourself lucky. More than likely, you’ll need to cut back gradually to ease withdrawal symptoms. Smoking only half of each cigarette or allowing yourself to smoke only during certain times of the day Or putting a progressively lower limit on the number of cigarettes that you’re allowed to smoke daily; once you’re down to five to six, quit altogether.
If you’ve just quit and you’re mouth feels dry and woolly, or if you’re throat, gums, or tongue hurt, try sipping ice-cold water or fruit juice. Make sure that you have lots of low-calorie snacks on hand: fruit, cut-up raw vegetables, small packages of lat bread, skimmed milk, or sugarless gum. By taking the low-calorie route, you can eat more without gaining more. But don’t automatically reach for food when you think that you’re hungry. Try having a NoCall drink, preferably water, first.
Drink through a straw if that helps. You may think that you’re hungry, but you really need a drink, or you simply want something in you’re hand or mouth. Exercises relieve irritability and anxiety, and they help you avoid adding extra pounds when you quit. Increasing the amount of aerobic exercise that you do is one of the best ways to control your weight. If you walk for 20 minutes three times a week, make it to 30 minutes of stretching, or do 20 minutes four times a week. Aspirin and other pain relievers can soothe a nicotine-withdrawal headache. A warm bath or shower may also do the trick.
Relaxing in a hot bath can also help ease anxiety and irritability. If there is no bath insight, try visualizing yourself in a soothing, pleasant place. Or relax with some deep breathing. Take a long, deep breath, count to ten, and release. Repeat it five times. Most relapses happen the first week after you quit, when withdrawal symptoms are the strongest.
Make quitting easier by avoiding things that you associate with cigarettes, like alcohol or other smokers. Most people make four or five attempts before they succeed in quitting. One cigarette doesn’t have to lead to a pack, and relapse doesn’t mean that you’re never going to quit.
Reward Yourself along the way; there is no doubt about it Giving up cigarettes can be rough. Just ask Anne Geller, a neurologist. Dr. Geller experienced nicotine withdrawal firsthand when she quit a 17-year cigarette habit in 1980 and learned some withdrawal coping strategies in the process. When she was quitting, she soaked away the irritability and anxiety in a nightly hot bath. I also found that exercise was another wonderful antidote to irritability and anxiety.
After I quit smoking, I was more interested in pudding than I had been. While I was smoking, my after-dinner cigarette had always been my favorite. So that she wouldn’t be tempted. She stopped making desserts. And once a week, Dr. Geller says that she would take the money that she saved on cigarettes and spend it on a record or some other small treat. If you’re quitting smoking, try to build some pleasurable activities into little purchases, so don’t feel you’re deprived.