Nicotine Dependence

Mental Health

Nicotine is a drug found in tobacco that can cause chemical dependency. This substance stimulates the adrenal glands and releases adrenaline causing an increase in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Like other drugs, nicotine also activates reward pathways in the brain that regulate feelings of pleasure and reinforcement. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), one-quarter of the population in the United States uses tobacco products with over 60 million people (aged 12 and older) reported to have used tobacco in the past month. Cigarette smoking is the most popular method of using tobacco, yet many people use smokeless tobacco like snuff, chewing tobacco, and E-cigarettes. When tobacco is smoked, nicotine enters the bloodstream quickly which delivers the substance to the brain within seconds. Smoking has been associated with a variety of diseases that can affect the lungs, heart, intestines, and oral cavity. Numerous cancers have also been linked with smoking which spans the entire body. It is important to know that most smokers, who ultimately quit, require multiple attempts before success is seen.

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