Also known as tobacco dependence, nicotine dependence refers to the addiction to tobacco products caused by nicotine drug where the user cannot stop using the substance even when it is causing harm to that person. There is physical and mood altering effects produced by nicotine that pleases the user temporarily. The effects give one the urge to use tobacco leading to dependence whereas stopping the use leads to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and irritability.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms that may indicate that one has been addicted include experience of withdrawal symptoms when the victim attempts to stop, one continues to smoke in spite of health problems, one gives up social or recreational activities in order to smoke and unsuccessful attempts to stop smoking. Many smokers try to stop smoking before they find sure self-restraint from smoking. A doctor may help develop an effective treatment plan or advise accordingly on how one can obtain help and stop smoking.
Nicotine dependence includes both behavioral and physical factors. Behaviors and signals that one might be associated with smoking are drinking alcohol, certain places, driving your car, smell of a burning cigarette, stressful situations, talking on phone and specific times of the day like the first activity of the daybreak or at break time. In order to deal with dependence on tobacco, one has to overcome behaviors and routines linked to smoking. Notably, nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that increases the urge to smoke and which is extremely addictive when conveyed to the lungs. It speeds the discharge of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that control mood and actions.
The factors exacerbating nicotine dependence include genetics; home and peer influence, age when the individual begins smoking, depression or other mental diseases like schizophrenia; and substance abuse for instance, alcohol abuse and illegal drugs like marijuana are more likely to become smokers.
Smoking destroys almost all the organs of the body and lead to death of a great percentage of smokers. The negative health effects of nicotine dependence include lung cancer and other lung infections, other forms of cancer like cancer of the esophagus, larynx, pancreas and kidney; heart and circulatory problems, diabetes, eye problems, impotence and infertility, pregnancy and infant complications, cold, flu and other diseases like bronchitis. Besides, other complications are weakened senses, teeth and gum disease, physical appearance like wrinkles, premature aging and yellow teeth and fingernails; and risks posed to one's family.
To help deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, one needs to exercise regularly, include a lot of fruits and vegetables and water, be practical on the energy and time it takes to end smoking, avoid high risk situations by knowing triggers, talk to a support person to assist you get through a hard craving, identify rationalizations and wait out cravings.
The noblest prevention method of tobacco dependence is to not smoke from the onset, stop smoking yourself if you want to prevent your children from smoking. A parent should also try to promote smoke free environments, support legislation to increase taxes levied on tobacco products to discourage its use, talk with the teenagers to establish if their peers smoke as the friends may influence them to the habit. In addition, learn what the children perceive of smoking, assist them explore personal feelings, note the social repercussions by reminding the teenager of the effects of doing so; and work with schools to initiate stop smoking programs.