What is Nicotine Addiction?
Nicotine addiction is a condition when you constantly need nicotine and cannot control it. Nicotine is found in tobacco products.
In general, nicotine can help reduce anxiety, improve concentration and short-term memory. However, continuous consumption may lead to nicotine dependence or addiction.
There is no specific amount to determine if someone has nicotine addiction. Some people can be nicotine dependent even if they only consume small amounts of tobacco products.
Causes of Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine addiction may occur due to the nature of nicotine — which is addictive. Nicotine enters your blood and brain within seconds after being inhaled and helps regulate your mood and behavior.
The effects of nicotine are similar to those of dopamine, a neurotransmitter regulates your mood. If you have the habits of smoking cigarettes regularly before, during, or after any activities — it will make your body get used to it. You will have the urge to smoke.
Behaviors or conditions that can be linked to smoking habits and lead to addiction may include:
- Certain times of the day, for example, smoking during coffee breaks
- When you drink alcohol
- You are surrounded by active smokers
- You deal with stress
- After eating
- While driving
- Certain places where smoking is permitted
- You see other people smoking or even smell cigarettes
When to See a Doctor for Nicotine Addiction?
During consultation, your doctor may ask you some questions regarding:
- Things that can trigger you to smoke. For example, you always have the urge to smoke after eating, before going to bed, or other activities
- Physical symptoms associated with smoking. For example, being unable to focus if you do not smoke.
- Consumption of medications
- Personal health conditions.
Symptoms of Nicotine Addiction
Symptoms of nicotine addiction or dependence include difficulty to quit smoking. In extreme cases, experiencing nicotine withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit smoking.
You can also be considered to have nicotine addiction if you start sacrificing other activities for the sake of smoking.
Below are some conditions that may occur due to nicotine withdrawal:
- The irresistible urge to consume nicotine
- Tingling hands and feet
- Continuous sweating
- Sore throat
- Trouble sleeping
- Nausea and stomach cramps
- Trouble concentrating
- Easy to get emotional
- Weight gain
Treatment for Nicotine Addiction
Treatment for nicotine addiction is not easy. Treatments may include consumption of replacement medications and anti-nicotine which can help overcome nicotine addiction.
Nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum can also help. Talk to your doctor about the right medications that are effective and safe for you to consume in overcoming nicotine addiction.
Both nicotine patch and nicotine gum contain small amounts of nicotine. However, neither of these products will not lead to dependence as they do not produce a pleasant or soothing effect. They also do not contain carcinogenic compounds and pollutants as in cigarette smokes.
Apart from taking medications or using certain products, counseling can also help treat nicotine addiction. Counselling may work best when combined with the right medications.
It is also necessary to find what motivates you the most to quit smoking. This will become a guide for you to practice self-control, in case you have the urge to smoke. For example, wanting to quit smoking for health reasons, family reasons or other personal reasons.
Treatment Cost for NIcotine Addiction
Treatment costs for nicotine addiction may vary, depending on the severity and the treatment chosen. For more details regarding the estimated cost for treating nicotine addiction, find hospital recommendations, or make doctor appointments at home and abroad — please contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of NIcotine Addiction
To prevent nicotine addiction, there are several things you can do, namely:
- Educate yourself. You should reconsider your decision to smoke by finding out thoroughly about the harmful effects of smoking and the dangers of tobacco. This can be applied also to children to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine.
- Create a smoke-free environment. When you are at home, try to avoid smoking as much as possible. Also, avoid travelling to a special smoking area to protect you from the temptation of a cigarette. You may also implement a smoking ban at your home if a family member has a nicotine addiction.
- Maintain communication with children. To prevent children from starting smoking, ensure that you have good communication with your children. Find out about your children’s friends as passive smokers may expose children to cigarettes and can be more easily influenced.
Home Remedies for NIcotine Addiction
First things first, prepare yourself a snack. Every time you want to return to smoking, consume a snack that can help your attention from smoking, such as candy .
- Home care treatment for nicotine addiction is by focusing on your ability to not smoke even when your body starts to show any signs of nicotine withdrawal.
- Get rid of all tobacco products. By staying away from tobacco products, both at home, in private vehicles, and in the work area, you can reduce your urge to smoke cigarettes.
- Avoid situations that may trigger smoking. Stay away from areas where a lot of people smoke and if you have to travel, choose to visit smoke-free areas.