What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is an alkaloid that is found in the tobacco plan. It works as an anti-herbivore chemical keeping away insects from the plant. Today when a person thinks of nicotine they think tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. However, nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid are widely used as an insecticide.
Nicotine acts as a stimulant to all mammals, humans in particular. It acts on the pleasure chemical dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain within minutes, making the user feel relaxed and at ease. Typically nicotine is inhaled through tobacco products with the average tobacco cigarette containing 1mg of absorbed nicotine. This drug is responsible to millions of people world wide developing a dependency to tobacco smoking and chewing. Nicotine is one of the hardest addictions to overcome, according to the American Heart Association.
Nicotine is found within tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. It is a highly addictive substance with millions of people hooked around the world. Nicotine is a legal substance, however there are many limits on the sale of products containing nicotine. In the United States the individual must be over the age of 18 to purchase tobacco products. In many states the areas in which the individual can smoke cigarettes and cigars are limited. Schools, businesses and public parks do not allow cigarette or cigar smoking.
With nicotine addiction so high throughout the world there are many different products that are used in its treatment. However the majority of these products contain low doses of nicotine themselves. This allows the individual to gradually ween off the drug while stopping the repetitive cycle of smoking cigars, cigarettes or even chewing tobacco.
Signs and Symptoms of Nicotine Addiction
A person who is addicted to nicotine will require tobacco products throughout the day. They will smoke or chew tobacco for the rush it creates. Within a few hours of its last use they will begin to craving the nicotine and repeat the cycle. Tobacco users will smoke or chew at any time they can; work breaks, in the car, at home, after meals and even before bed or when waking up. When not using tobacco for an extended period of time the individual will be overwhelmed by cravings and begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, quickly getting to the tobacco product for nicotine relief.
Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired performance
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
- Excessive Sleeping
These symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can begin as soon as 3 hours after the last tobacco use, peaking within one week and subsiding within four to five weeks.
Nicotine addiction is one of the hardest drugs to overcome. It has been compared with addictions to illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine. With millions of people addicted to nicotine scientist are regularly developing treatment options to aid people in overcoming their addictions. Nicotine replacement products such as gums, patches and vapor inhalators are used by those looking to quit nicotine by gradually weening themselves off the drug. Other prescription medications such as Chantix takes away the craving for nicotine, even causes the individual to feel ill when smoking or chewing tobacco.
Many also choose to use hypnosis to trick the brain and body into not enjoying nicotine. Then there are those who choose to quit nicotine cold turkey. This can be an overwhelming process that requires a temptation free environment during the beginning stages, as well as a change in behaviors and routines.