Is Smoking A Habit Or An Addiction

An Easy Road to Addiction

All tobacco products contain nicotine, a substance which is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. When you take in a puff, the nicotine hits the brain in 10 seconds and brings about a sudden release of glucose. Blood pressure, respiration and heart rate will increase.

If the levels of nicotine are not maintained over time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, frustration and anxiety. As a result, you will crave for more nicotine and will find it very difficult to simply stop smoking.

Just one cigarette may be enough for a person to get started on the addiction process to nicotine. And the younger you are when you start smoking, the harder it is to quit later.

Nicotine is not only found in tobacco products that are smoked like cigarettes, cigars and shisha. Smokeless tobacco products such as snus, snuff, and betel quid also contain nicotine.

Related: Get the Facts Right About Tobacco Products

Are you addicted to nicotine?

Even a small amount of tobacco can quickly lead to nicotine dependence. Some of the symptoms include:

  • You tried to stop smoking but you cannot. You have made serious, but unsuccessful attempts to kick the habit.

  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you go ”cold turkey“. You experience strong cravings for tobacco products, anxiety, irritability, and restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, depressed mood, frustration, anger, increased hunger, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea when you attempt to stop smoking.

  • You cannot stop smoking despite having health problems.

  • You may stop or avoid social situations where you cannot smoke.

Related: Questions on Smoking, Tobacco Use and Health

Seeking Help

If you are trying to quit, congratulations on taking the first step! Do know that some smokers take a few attempts before they succeed in quitting, so do not give up if you don’t succeed the first time.

Seek the support of your family and friends to encourage you. A good treatment plan that addresses physical and psychological aspects of the addiction can go a long way in helping you snub out the butt for good.

Resources for Quitting

Join the I Quit 28-Day Countdown now! Call QuitLine at 1800 438 2000 for support, and visit participating retail pharmacies for advice that can help you quit.


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