Nicotine Addiction Signs & Symptoms: What Are They?

The Signs and Symptoms of Nicotine Addiction

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Is Nicotine Addictive?

Nicotine is the addictive ingredient that can you can find in tobacco, and that leads to tolerance and dependence. Unfortunately, nicotine is among the most abused substances, and the drug causes uncomfortable withdrawal, psychological dependence, and fatal diseases. Only in the U.S, it leads to 443,000 deaths each year.

Nicotine Addiction Signs & Symptoms Explained

If you light a cigarette first thing in the morning, if you think that alcohol goes perfectly with tobacco, or if you feel the need to smoke while waiting for the bus or after sex, then it’s time to admit that you have an addiction to nicotine.

a box of cigarettes

Nicotine is the addictive ingredient in tobacco. Tobacco is a highly abused substance that gives the user a kick of happiness as the drug causes the release of dopamine and adrenaline. From smoking to chewing, human beings since the beginning of time have known about tobacco. In the 20th century, it even became a sign of empowerment of women.

Good or bad, facts are undeniable. Figures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show that in the U.S. more than 443,000 nicotine-related deaths happen every year.

So what are Nicotine addiction signs, are they as dangerous as any opiate or alcohol addiction?

  • If you’ve tried to quit, but you failed
  • If you experience withdrawal symptoms
  • If you smoke or chew tobacco in excess
  • If you inhale ‘aggressively’ and you prefer ‘strong’ cigarettes
  • If you smoke or consume tobacco when you feel stressed or bored
  • If you continue smoking despite health problems or children around you
  • If you avoid smoke-free places or social occasions that don’t involve smoking

Then it’s time to recognize your nicotine addiction.

But hey, nothing is embarrassing; you’re not alone. Unfortunately, 23.1% of men and 18.3% of women in America smoke just like you.

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Recognizing Nicotine Addiction Side Effects & Withdrawal

Smoking is addictive and leads to some uncomfortable side effects that can help you recognize nicotine addiction:

  • Coughing
  • Bad breath
  • Problems with the teeth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Yellow fingernails
  • Wrinkled skin

Withdrawal symptoms are a definite Nicotine addiction signs, and include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Aggression

However, the good news is that withdrawal is not lethal, and you can get rid of any annoying problems up to two weeks after cessation. So do not worry to put a bit of weight on because quitting can save your life.

The truth is that the psychological dependence is more problematic because many factors trigger smoking, cravings, and Nicotine relapse:

  • Individual differences
  • Mental illness
  • History of abuse
  • Genetic factors
  • Social pressure

Smoking is a behavior we learned: we smoke after a meeting, an important call, after being intimate, when we can’t sleep, when we wake up, with our coffee, on the way to work, in the car, after a nice meal, and the list goes on and on. Things can get even worse when we see someone smoking. It’s proven that cigarettes, as presented in films and shows, can trigger smoking.

Dangers of Nicotine Addiction & Why You Should Identify It ASAP

Apart from all the physical and psychological changes nicotine causes to the body and the mind, the long-term use of tobacco can result in fatal diseases:

  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Respiratory infections
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Insulin resistance
  • Buerger’s disease
  • Impotence and infertility

Smoking affects one’s skin and appearance and can lead to financial problems.

quit smoking

Smoking is not recommended when pregnant or breastfeeding. Okay, one cigarette will not affect you or your baby, but why taking the risk. Data shows that smoking during pregnancy can result in premature birth, a low weight of the baby and various health issues. Pregnancy can be stressful, but a mother can release the pressure by exercising or doing yoga instead. Also, let the morning sickness help you: you’ll see that even the thought of smoking could make you feel sick.

Identifying nicotine addiction is important. Data shows that 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking early in life (by the age of 18). So if you identify it as soon as possible in teens, for example, you could prevent any further health complications that can affect the same users as adults.

How to tell if your loved one has an addiction to Nicotine and needs help?

It’s easy to spot when someone smokes – bad breath, smelly clothes, and stuffy room. It’s not more complicated to tell when your loved one has Nicotine addiction signs:

  • Coughing all the time
  • Yellow fingernails
  • Weight loss
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Avoiding smoke-free places
  • Surrounding themselves with other smokers
  • Obsession with tobacco products
  • Financial issues due to tobacco use

If you think that someone you love has Nicotine addiction signs, take the next step: treatment.

Nicotine Addiction: Treatment & Outlook

Nicotine addiction is characterized by high rates of relapse. However, stay positive. Many products can help you quit.

Nicotine replacement therapy is beneficial in severe cases of addiction: patches, sprays, gums and lozenges, you can choose what works for you. You can also apply other drugs such as antidepressants.
However, one of the best ways is to find psychological help: from individual counseling through support groups to online hotlines.

What’s more, you can do it yourself:

  • Start a healthy diet
  • Exercise frequently (walking has proven to be helpful, especially in teens)
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Avoid places, activities or people that remind you of smoking
  • Indulge in hobbies that reduce your anxiety
  • Have a to-do list and treat yourself when you succeed
  • Try to delay smoking (at least with 10 minutes) because cravings come and go

Most of all, stay positive.

Nicotine addiction is hard to overcome, but believe that this can be your last puff.

View Sources
  1. Is nicotine addictive? National Institute On Drug Abuse.
  2. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2014.
  3. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1997-2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2017.
  4. National Cancer Institute. Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit. National Cancer Institute.

Nicotine Addiction Signs & Symptoms: What Are They?

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