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What is Nicotine Dependence?

Nicotine dependence is the physical vulnerability of your body to the chemical nicotine. Nicotine is potently addicting when delivered by various tobacco products. Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects in your brain that are temporarily pleasing. The mood-altering effects reinforce your continued use of tobacco.

People addicted to tobacco and nicotine have an increased risk of several other health problems. Substances in tobacco smoke can cause damage to the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Which Products Contain Nicotine?

Most products that contain tobacco also contain nicotine.

Symptoms of Nicotine Dependence?

Some of the most common symptoms of nicotine dependence are listed below.

  • Inability to stop smoking.
  • Experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop smoking.
    • Strong withdrawal symptoms include: craving for tobacco, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, headache, drowsiness, stomach upset, constipation and diarrhea.
  • You keep smoking despite health problems.
  • You give up social or recreational activities that don't allow you to smoke.

Complications of Nicotine Dependence?

Nicotine dependence can affect several parts of your body. Common complications of nicotine dependence are:

Can Nicotine Dependence be Treated?

Yes. The two main types of treatments are: Nicotine replacement therapy and non-nicotine medication.

There are many types of nicotine replacement therapies. Most of them are available over-the-counter. Nicotine replacement therapies are designed to deliver wean you off nicotine by delivering small doses of nicotine into your bloodstream. The most common types of nicotine replacement therapies are: nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine nasal spray.

Non-nicotine medication are designed to act on brain chemistry to bring about some of the same effects that nicotine induces when a person smokes. A common non-nicotine medication is Zyban.


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