One of the strongest indicators that nicotine from smoking is addictive is the difference between people's desire to quit and quitting success rates. Surveys have shown that the majority of smokers — around 70% — want to stop smoking, yet the successful quit rate remains very low. Read the lists below to get a full understanding of nicotine and its effects.
All about nicotine
- Nicotine addiction is stronger and lasts longer than most people realize because smoking changes the
structure and function of your brain.
- For some people, nicotine can be as addictive as cocaine or heroin.
- Nicotine causes a release of dopamine into the brain, resulting in feelings of pleasure. Heroin and "crack" have the same effects on the brain.
- If a typical pack-a-day smoker takes 10 "hits" off each cigarette, that's 200 "hits" of nicotine to
the brain each day.
- Over time, more nicotine is needed to reach the same level of pleasure.
- If the brain stops getting the nicotine it wants, you'll feel desperate cravings that are hard to overcome with willpower alone.
- If 100 people experiment with alcohol or cocaine, about 15 will become addicted; if 100 people
experiment with nicotine, about 32 will become addicted.
- Number of times "addiction" is listed on compulsory cigarette warnings in the United States: 0.
Smoking habits go beyond nicotine addiction to include people, places, activities, things around us and even moods that are associated with tobacco use. These associations act together with nicotine addiction to reinforce dependence on tobacco.
- Nicotine withdrawal cravings don't end after you've smoked your last cigarette. They intensify because
of your smoking habit addiction.
- Once you beat the brain's physical nicotine addiction, you have a much better chance of kicking your
- Tobacco dependence and its major component, nicotine dependence, are progressive, chronic medical
disorders similar to dependence on other addictive substances.
- A study found over 90% of those who tried to quit "cold turkey" were smoking again within 6 months.
- Quitters need to confront both the physical addiction and smoking habit to have the best chance of
quitting for good.
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) relieves nicotine cravings and can double your chances of success.
- Americans are 4 times more likely to try to kick the habit because of the availability of
nicotine patches, gums and inhalers.
- The more intensively you focus on quitting, the higher your odds of quitting.
- The more strategies you use to quit, the higher your odds of staying off cigarettes.
To stop smoking you need to overcome both nicotine addiction AND smoking habits.
NicoDerm® CQ® with SmartControl™ gives you the power to help overcome nicotine addiction — and a
plan to help you change your habits. Learn more here — NicoDerm CQ and You.
Are you at risk?
There's no way of knowing for sure, but the researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health can give you an educated guess on your risk of lung cancer.
Learn your health risk with this valuable tool.