Addiction to Smoking
Addiction to Smoking
Smoking is one of the habits that people adopt and it eventually turns into an addiction. It starts as a small behavior that can be adopted by any person regardless of the age or gender. It is mostly with the youths who take it as a way of having fun but as they do it, they end up having a big problem with it. The rich use cigars as a way of showing certain superiority in the society. One can start doing it just because he or she is rich not knowing that they might end up getting addicted and they will have a very hard time when trying to quit. The reason for this addiction is caused by nicotine found in cigarettes. It is a certain chemical which make cigarettes more addictive even more than heroin (Latt, 13).
Drug addiction, according to certain researchers, is a mental illness. It is a brain disease that is very complex and has characteristics such as seeking, drug craving and use even when a person is well aware of the consequences. These characteristics are uncontrollable and compulsive. Addiction has a law which explains that when a drug is administered to one’s body, a chemical dependence on this drug is developed by its user. This is a fact that clearly describes addiction. It further describes a fact that one to some people is too many but when a thousand is used it never gets enough (Stern, 26).
Around 5 million people every year smoke until they die in each and every year. One single puff leads to the destruction of additional tissues and up to 81 cancers related chemicals are introduced into a person’s body. It kills around half of the adult smokers and by the end of the century about 1 billion lives might be claimed by the same. In the United States, male smokers cut short their life span by an average of 13 years and females an average of 14 years showing that women are in a more danger when they engage in smoking. With just 3-4 cigarettes about 26% of youths lose control and they continue smoking nonstop. This is, even more, dangerous when they take 5-9 cigarettes because 44% lose control. The available research shows that the addiction to nicotine is as permanent as that of alcohol and it affects a tissue in the brain called dopamine pathways the same way illegal drugs do and controlling it is as hard as or even harder than heroin use quitting. The research by Dr. Volkow’s 1999 further shows that the way smoke kills MAO is clear evidence that nicotine is the most addictive drug to be ever designed (Justin, 23).
This nicotine does not only affect dopamine release after a very short period of about ten seconds of every puff, but more is released when quenching thirst or eating food. Nicotine further alters the brain physically. Nicotine desensitizes, activates and saturates the receptors of dopamine pathways and these leads to activation or growth of millions of other receptors and this known as up-regulation. When one smokes more cigarettes, then more receptors are desensitized and saturated and this leads to more grown resulting to more nicotine needed in the body to satisfy the want. Addiction to nicotine is a certain process where when one inhales certain nicotine, dopamine is definitely released from the brain tissues followed by a fall in the level of nicotine in one’s blood and this leads to a crave for more that is generated by the brain. This is why most smokers cannot quit that easily no matter how much their family members tell them. It is very difficult to help them since thy trust their brains so much and it is always telling them that smoking is as good as taking food (Royston, 35).
Smokers live behind a lie of addiction which is developed by the brain itself. Quitting addiction should not be something to be feared rather should be embraced. This addiction is a development from a habit and it is a development of the activities, times, and routines that can be associated with smoking. This kind of habits leads to cravings. Some people have this assumption that they cannot do anything without first taking a cigarette. This especially happens to those that do physical work like working in the farm. Other people believe that when they are faced with a dilemma and they want to figure it out correctly, they have to take a cigarette. They think that there is a connection between the smoking they will do and the solution they will get something that they can do even without smoking. The third category of people are the once who develop these habit out of leisure (Miller, 04).
They just do it to pass the time or when they have the meeting with peers and they are having fun. Truth to be told most drunkards smoke cigarettes. This is because they assume that while drinking a cigarette or two are needed to make them drunk easily or as fast as possible. There is a fourth category of smokers, that kids, those that think when they have a certain kind of stress they just need to smoke a cigarette so as to forget or get over it. This is the biggest group and it is in the greatest danger ever. This is because life is about problems and hardships, however, small or big they may seem to be. And if one assumes that he or she can solve this with smoking then they face the largest form of addiction ever. All these are habits that are developed by a certain smoker (Roger, 65).
Most smokers inhale nicotine which goes very fast to the brain and this leads to a feeling of pleasure, anxiety and somehow stress is reduced. The more smoking is done, the more nicotine become used to the brain and it is like a part of the brain, so it has to be smoked now and then to make sure that, that feeling is felt and maintained. This also caused by the fact that a body is able to gain a high tolerance to nicotine. Addiction is a disease that keeps one smoking even when they are more than willing to quit and for some people quitting is very hard compared to others (Carr, 35).
A lot of people need to try to quit more than once so as to quit successfully. Research suggests that teens and children have high chances of getting addicted than adults and this is because their sensitivity to nicotine is higher. This is further evidenced by the fact that in every four high school smokers three of them will be adult smokers. Cigarette selling is a business like any other and the makers are in to make more profits. So nowadays they are adding more nicotine into cigarettes to ensure addiction. Some even go to an extent of adding chemicals and addictive’s to these cigarettes some of which are very dangerous in one’s health (Williams, 08).
Nicotine that is found in tobacco products is a very addictive drug that not only acts in the brain but also throughout the body. Some tobacco products like chew and dip are more addictive even than the cigarettes themselves. A fact states that when one stays with a dip in the mouth for an average of 30 minutes gets as much nicotine in his brain as another person who has smoked three cigarettes. Another kind of fact is that when one uses two cans of snuff in a week absorbs in his brain more nicotine than a person who smokes one and a half packets of cigarettes in one day. When one finally decides to quit, this means that the level of nicotine reduces in the brain at an immediate effect especially those that just decide to quit instantly. These results to the feeling of withdrawal which is characterized by several symptoms like; craving for the same nicotine, hunger and this is because smokers take smoking as the same as eating food, headache, irritability and anxiety. These withdrawal symptoms happen in a very short period of time and it is the most difficult part of every smoker who is quitting. This is because one is beating longtime cravings and this can only be avoided by staying away from tobacco (David, 38).
Quitting in one way or the other helps the smoker understand what is really meant by addiction since when the y are doing it they assume that it is a normal thing that is happening in their lives and that there is nothing like the addiction. On average about 70% of the smokers but a very small number understands how to do it and even a smaller number understand that they have caused to themselves a disease of the mind which is a permanent priority and disorder. Instead of quitting, most smokers start giving rationalizations and justifications why they have to take the next cigarette. In their mind they have developed nicotine use of cues. And by the use of these cues craves and urges are triggered upon encountering an emotion, place, person, situation or a specific time upon which their mind is trained to receive another amount of nicotine. When there is a two-hour elimination of the nicotine in a smoker and the gradually increasing need for more of it, the smoker is likely to be faced with about five hurdles. This include; relapse prevention, extinguishing and breaking smoking cues, smoking rationalization abandoning, dopamine pathways that have been hijacked should be reclaimed and appreciating the situation that they find themselves in (Berger, 67).
Multiple tries to quit have to be taken before a smoker finally finds his road to the success of quitting. During the first attempt, every smoker learns a lesson that they never forget in their life. A successful recovery is not about how weak or strong a person is but the level at which the brain has been affected. This explains the fact that it is very hard for somebody who has smoked for a very long time to quit than the one who has smoked for a shorter time. This is because of the level of disorder in their brains. Some quitters cheat themselves that that they are walking away from smoking it takes a very short time before they start craving for another cigarette. This is the reason why agencies that deal with this like the rehabilitation centers are the ones that are needed to help a person quit. This is because they have an organized way of doing things. Smokers will not just be deprived their cigarettes at once but the rate at which they take them is the one that is controlled and with time these smokers quit completely (Coster, 54)
When one decides to do it on their own, they end up messing themselves since they quite irregularly and when they get a chance to smoke they do it even more than the way they used to do it previously thus leading to more complications that could not be there if one did not try quitting in the first place. Each cue experienced by a smoker gives a chance to end additional conditioning and another aspect of life is claimed. There are activities that should be avoided after one has already quit. These are; smoking because one has stress, or because on is driving or walking in the backyard, or even engaging a smoking friend. This may lead to the craving for the same cigarette again and the whole process of quitting will just be a waste of time. And those who have already quitted and they go back to smoking; it is usually very hard for them to stop again. Another good way of quitting is listing the importance of smoking and since there is none, then one should definitely quit (Judith, 47).
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Carr, Allen. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. New York: Sterling Pub. Co, 2004. Print.
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Stern, Lesley. The Smoking Book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. Internet resource.
Pietrusza, David. Smoking. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1997. Print.
Berger, Gilda. Addiction. New York: F. Watts, 1992. Print.
Coster, Patience. Smoking. Mankato, MN: Arcturus Pub, 2011. Print.
Perron, Roger. My Addiction to Smoking. Victoria, B.C: Trafford, 2006. Print.
Anderson, Judith. Smoking. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2006. Print.
Royston, Angela. Smoking. Oxford: Heinemann Library, 2000. Print.
Healey, Justin. Smoking. Rozelle, N.S.W: Spinney Press, 2001. Print.
Latt, Noeline. Addiction Medicine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Internet resource.
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