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Nicotine Addiction - Causes And Symptoms

Dr. Safiya M S 86% (20 ratings)
MS - Counselling and Psychotherapy, Diploma in Psychological Medicine , MBBS
Psychiatrist, Bangalore  •  14 years experience
Nicotine Addiction - Causes And Symptoms

Nicotine addiction or tobacco addiction refers to an acute dependence upon tobacco products primarily due to the presence of the nicotine drug. In other words, nicotine addiction refers to an inability to stop using tobacco products despite the knowledge and awareness that it is harmful to you. While nicotine only induces addiction, it is the presence of other substances in tobacco which makes it damaging and injurious to health.

Nicotine has the tendency to produce effects in the brain, both physical as well as mind altering, that give temporary satisfaction. This is precisely why people get hooked into the habit of tobacco consumption, which eventually leads to addiction. Unfortunately, stopping tobacco use immediately can also lead to several withdrawal symptoms, like agitation and restlessness.

The main reason why tobacco is so addictive is due to the fact that nicotine releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the reward centre of the brain, which in turn improves your mood and gives you temporary pleasure.

Causes of nicotine addiction can either be physical or behavioral, for instance situations or feelings, which make you crave for tobacco. These include:

  1. Specific times during the day, say after every meal or during breaks at work
  2. While defecating
  3. While drinking alcohol
  4. Stressful or depressive situations
  5. At the sight or smell of a burning cigarette
  6. Peer pressure
  7. While driving

Symptoms of nicotine addiction include:

  1. You are unable to quit smoking despite frequent attempts.
  2. You experience withdrawal symptoms after attempting to quit.
  3. You continue to smoke despite the awareness that it is injurious to your health.
  4. You forego social as well as recreational activities because of your need to smoke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.
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