Cigarette smoking has been the most popular method of taking nicotine since the beginning of the 20th century. Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States.
In 1989, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report that concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco, are addictive and that nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. In addition, the report determined that smoking was a major cause of stroke and the third leading cause of death in the United States. As a parent or individual, if you suspect someone of using this substance you can get a definitive answer by using a simple, private urine drug testing kit. There are easy-to-use nicotine/cotinine urine drug testing products at https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop.
What is nicotine?
Found in the smoke, Nicotine, one of more than 4,000 chemicals from tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, is the primary component in tobacco that acts on the brain. Smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco also contain many toxins as well as high levels of nicotine. Nicotine, recognized as one of the most frequently used addictive drugs, is a naturally occurring colorless liquid that turns brown when burned and acquires the odor of tobacco when exposed to air. There are many species of tobacco plants; the tabacum species serves as the major source of tobacco products today. Since nicotine was first identified in the early 1800s, it has been studied extensively and shown to have a number of complex and sometimes unpredictable effects on the brain and the body. It is very important to get the use of this drug stopped. One of the ways to do that is to do regular urine drug testing of the person who is using this drug. Urine drug testing products are available for purchase at https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop now.
Cigarette smoking is the most prevalent form of nicotine addiction in the United States. Most cigarettes in the U.S. market today contain 10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. Through inhaling smoke, the average smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette. There have been substantial increases in the sale and consumption of smokeless tobacco products also, and more recently, in cigar sales.
Nicotine is absorbed through the skin and mucosal lining of the mouth and nose or by inhalation in the lungs. Depending on how tobacco is taken, nicotine can reach peak levels in the bloodstream and brain rapidly.
Cigarette smoking, for example, results in rapid distribution of nicotine throughout the body, reaching the brain within 10 seconds of inhalation. Cigar and pipe smokers, on the other hand, typically do not inhale the smoke, so nicotine is absorbed more slowly through the mucosal membranes of their mouths. Nicotine from smokeless tobacco also is absorbed through the mucosal membranes.
Is nicotine addictive?
Yes, nicotine is addictive. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative health consequences, and tobacco use certainly fits the description. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them make a serious attempt to quit each year. Unfortunately, less than 7 percent of those who try to quit on their own achieve more than 1 year of abstinence; most relapse within a few days of attempting to quit.
Other factors to consider besides nicotine's addictive properties include its high level of availability, the small number of legal and social consequences of tobacco use, and the sophisticated marketing and advertising methods used by tobacco companies. These factors, combined with nicotine's addictive properties, often serve as determinants for first use and, ultimately, addiction. As a parent or individual, if you suspect someone of using this substance you can get a definitive answer by using a simple, private urine drug testing kit. There are easy-to-use nicotine/cotinine urine drug testing products at https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop.
Recent research has shown in fine detail how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of behavioral effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure, the so-called reward pathways. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases the levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. Nicotine's pharmacokinetic properties have been found also to enhance its abuse potential. Cigarette smoking produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain, with drug levels peaking within 10 seconds of inhalation. The acute effects of nicotine dissipate in a few minutes, causing the smoker to continue dosing frequently throughout the day to maintain the drug's pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.
What people frequently do not realize is that the cigarette is a very efficient and highly engineered drug-delivery system. By inhaling, the smoker can get nicotine to the brain very rapidly with every puff. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a cigarette over a period of 5 minutes that the cigarette is lit. Thus, a person who smokes about 1-1/2 packs (30 cigarettes) daily, gets 300 "hits" of nicotine to the brain each day. These factors contribute considerably to nicotine's highly addictive nature.
Scientific research is also beginning to show that nicotine may not be the only psychoactive ingredient in tobacco. Using advanced neuroimaging technology, scientists can see the dramatic effect of cigarette smoking on the brain and are finding a marked decrease in the levels of monoamineoxidase (MAO), an important enzyme that is responsible for breaking down dopamine. The change in MAO must be caused by some tobacco smoke ingredient other than nicotine, since we know that nicotine itself does not dramatically alter MAO levels. The decrease in two forms of MAO, A and B, then results in higher dopamine levels and may be another reason that smokers continue to smoke - to sustain the high dopamine levels that result in the desire for repeated drug use. Personal and private nicotine/cotinine drug testing is an important part of helping an addict stop their substance abuse. Please visit https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop now to purchase your urine drug testing kits today.
What is the extent and impact of tobacco use?
According to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, an estimated 57.0 million Americans were current smokers and 7.6 million used smokeless tobacco, which means that nicotine is one of the most widely abused substances. In addition, in 1998 each day in the United States more than 2,000 people under the age of 18 began daily smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students increased from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 36.4 percent in 1997 before declining to 34.8 percent in 1999. NIDA's own Monitoring the Future Study, which annually surveys drug use and related attitudes of America's adolescents, also found the prevalence rates for smoking among youth declined from 1999 to 2000. Since 1975, nicotine in the form of cigarettes has consistently been the substance the greatest number of high school students use daily.
The impact of nicotine addiction in terms of morbidity, mortality, and economic costs to society is staggering. Tobacco kills more than 430,000 U.S. citizens each year-more than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire, and AIDS combined. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Economically, smoking is attributable to an estimated $80 billion of total U.S. health care costs each year . However, this cost is well below the total cost to society because it does not include burn care from smoking-related fires, perinatal care for low-birth-weight infants of mothers who smoke, and medical care costs associated with disease caused by secondhand smoke. Taken together, the direct and indirect costs of smoking are estimated at $138 billion per year.
How does nicotine deliver its effect?
Nicotine can act as both a stimulant and a sedative. Immediately after exposure to nicotine, there is a "kick" caused in part by the drug's stimulation of the adrenal glands and resulting discharge of epinephrine (adrenaline). The rush of adrenaline stimulates the body and causes a sudden release of glucose as well as an increase in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Nicotine also suppresses insulin output from the pancreas, which means that smokers are always slightly hyperglycemic. In addition, nicotine indirectly causes a release of dopamine in the brain regions that control pleasure and motivation. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse-such as cocaine and heroin- and it is thought to underlie the pleasurable sensations experienced by many smokers. In contrast, nicotine can also exert a sedative effect, depending on the level of the smoker's nervous system arousal and the dose of nicotine taken.
What happens when nicotine is taken for long periods of time?
Chronic exposure to nicotine results in addiction. Research is just beginning to document all of the neurological changes that accompany the development and maintenance of nicotine addiction. The behavioral consequences of these changes are well documented, greater than 90 percent of those smokers who try to quit without seeking treatment fail, with most relapsing within a week. In addition, personal and private drug testing will reinforce the behavior which leads to discontinuance of nicotine use. Go to https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop for purchase of easy-to-use drug testing kits right now.
Repeated exposure to nicotine results in the development of tolerance, the condition in which higher doses of a drug are required to produce the same initial stimulation. Nicotine is metabolized fairly rapidly, disappearing from the body in a few hours. Therefore some tolerance is lost overnight, and smokers often report that the first cigarettes of the day are the strongest and/or the "best." As the day progresses, acute tolerance develops, and later cigarettes have less effect.
Cessation of nicotine use is followed by a withdrawal syndrome that may last a month or more; it includes symptoms that can quickly drive people back to tobacco use. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability; craving, cognitive and attentional deficits sleep disturbances, and increased appetite and may begin within a few hours after the last cigarette. Symptoms peak within the first few days and may subside within a few weeks. For some people, however, symptoms may persist for months or longer.
An important but poorly understood component of the nicotine withdrawal syndrome is craving, an urge for nicotine that has been described as a major obstacle to successful abstinence. High levels of craving for tobacco may persist for 6 months or longer. While the withdrawal syndrome is related to the pharmacological effects of nicotine, many behavioral factors also can affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For some people, the feel, smell, and sight of a cigarette and the ritual of obtaining, handling, lighting, and smoking the cigarette are all associated with the pleasurable effects of smoking and can make withdrawal or craving worse. While nicotine gum and patches may alleviate the pharmacological aspects of withdrawal, cravings often persist.
What are the medical consequences of nicotine use?
The medical consequences of nicotine exposure result from effects of both the nicotine itself and how it is taken. The most deleterious effects of nicotine addiction are the result of tobacco use, which accounts for one-third of all cancers. Foremost among the cancers caused by tobacco is lung cancer-the number one cancer killer of both men and women. Cigarette smoking has been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancer cases.
In addition to lung cancer, smoking also causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and it has been found to exacerbate asthma symptoms in adults and children. Smoking is also associated with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, ureter, and bladder. The overall rates of death from cancer are twice as high among smokers as among nonsmokers, with heavy smokers having rates that are four times greater than those of nonsmokers. Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer in the United States. Personal and private PCP drug testing is an important part of helping an addict stop their substance abuse. Please visit https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop to purchase your urine drug tests today.
In addition to its ability to cause cancer, a relationship between cigarette smoking and coronary heart disease was first reported in the 1940s. Since that time, it has been well documented that smoking substantially increases the risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, and aneurysm. It is estimated that nearly one-fifth of deaths from heart disease are attributable to smoking.
While we often think of medical consequences that result from direct use of tobacco products, passive or secondary smoke also increases the risk for many diseases. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a major source of indoor air contaminants; secondhand smoke is estimated to cause approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year among nonsmokers and contributes to as many as 40,000 deaths related to cardiovascular disease. Exposure to tobacco smoke in the home increases the severity of asthma for children and is a risk factor for new cases of childhood asthma. ETS exposure has been linked also with sudden infant death syndrome. Additionally, dropped cigarettes are the leading cause of residential fire fatalities, leading to more than 1,000 such deaths each year.
At higher doses, such as the nicotine that can be found in some insecticide sprays, nicotine can be extremely toxic, causing vomiting, tremors, convulsions, and death. Nicotine poisoning has been reported from accidental ingestion of insecticides by adults and ingestion of tobacco products by children and pets. Death usually results in a few minutes from respiratory failure caused by paralysis.
Laboratory research indicates that cigarette smoking causes toxic cardiovascular effects. For this reason, nicotine replacement medicines such as nicotine gum and the patch have been extensively evaluated for cardiovascular toxicity, especially for patients with cardiac disease. These trials suggest that use of nicotine replacements for smoking cessation does not increase cardiovascular risk. These findings are consistent with the generally slower and lower doses of nicotine obtained from the medicines as compared to tobacco products, and to the absence of carbon monoxide and numerous other toxins in tobacco smoke.
As a parent, please help your children better their health. Monitor them regularly to let them know that you love and care about their health. Parents should invest in their children with the purchase of easy-to-use personal and private urine drug testing kits on a regular basis to detect the use of drugs to include nicotine/cotinine. Your children's health depend on your involvement in their recovery from drug use/abuse. You can purchase a simple drug testing kit today to help better their future. As an individual and/or parent, go to https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop now to invest in your's and/or your child's health today.
Women who are smoking generally have earlier menopause. If women smoke cigarettes and also take oral contraceptives, they are more prone to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases than are other smokers.
Pregnant women who are smoking cigarettes run an increased risk of having stillborn or premature infants or infants with low birthweight. Children of women who smoked while pregnant have an increased risk for developing conduct disorders.
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children and sudden infant death. It is very important to get the use of this drug stopped. One of the ways to do that is to do regular urine drug testing of the person who is using this drug. Urine drug testing products are available for purchase at https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop now.
Inability to stop smoking, i.e., you have made one or more serious but unsuccessful attempts to stop. Experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop smoking. When you try to stop smoking, you experience craving for tobacco, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, drowsiness and/or stomach upset. Despite experiencing health problems, you don't stop smoking. Altering routine or plans in order to smoke. For example, you might stop going to certain restaurants or stop socializing with certain family or friends because you find it embarrassing or difficult to smoke in these situations.
Keep in mind that duration and amount of smoking habit impacts your degree of addiction.
Nicotine is highly addictive. It is both a stimulant and a sedative to the central nervous system. The ingestion of nicotine results in a discharge of epinephrine from the adrenal cortex. This causes a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is then followed by depression and fatigue, leading the abuser to seek more nicotine.
In addition to nicotine, cigarette smoke is primarily composed of gases (mainly carbon monoxide) and tar. The tar in a cigarette exposes the user to a high risk of lung cancer, emphysema and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in the smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases.
Due to the addictive nature of nicotine, smoking tobacco may easily become a habit. Nicotine increases the release of a brain chemical called dopamine, which results in feeling good. This dopamine boost contributes to the cycle of nicotine intake. There are psychological as well as physical factors. You may develop a routine surrounding the act of smoking. For example, you may have a schedule of when you smoke such as after a meal or in certain locations or under certain levels of stress. Changing behaviors and routines you associate with smoking will have to be addressed if you are to overcome the addiction to nicotine.
Research suggests that smoking cessation should be a gradual process because of less severe withdrawal symptoms. Rates of relapse are highest in the first few weeks and months and diminish considerably after 3 months.
Studies have shown that pharmacological treatment combined with psychological treatment, including psychological support and skills training to overcome high-risk situations, results in some of the highest long-term abstinence rates.
Medications include nicotine chewing gum, the nicotine transdermal patch and the medication, Zyban. In the future, a nicotine vaccine may be an effective method for preventing and treating tobacco addiction.
Extensive research has shown that behavioral and pharmacological treatments for nicotine addiction do work. For those individuals motivated to quit smoking, a combination of behavioral and pharmacological treatments can increase the success rate approximately twofold over placebo treatments. Furthermore, smoking cessation can have an immediate positive impact on an individual's health; for example, a 35-year-old man who quits smoking will, on the average, increase his life expectancy by 5.1 years.
Nicotine Replacement Treatments
Nicotine was the first pharmacological agent approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in smoking cessation therapy. Nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, the transdermal patch, nasal spray, and inhaler, have been approved for use in the United States. They are used to relieve withdrawal symptoms, because they produce less severe physiological alterations than tobacco-based systems, and generally provide users with lower overall nicotine levels than they receive with tobacco. An added benefit is that these forms of nicotine have little abuse potential since they do not produce the pleasurable effects of tobacco products. Nor do they contain the carcinogens and gases associated with tobacco smoke.
The FDA's approval of nicotine gum in 1984 marked the availability (by prescription) of the first nicotine replacement therapy on the U.S. market. In 1996, the FDA Cleared Urine Drug Testing Kits | Saliva Drug and Alcohol Testing Kits for Forensic use gum (Nicorette®) for over-the-counter sales. Whereas nicotine gum provides some smokers with the desired control over dose and ability to relieve cravings, others are unable to tolerate the taste and chewing demands. In 1991-1992, FDA Cleared Urine Drug Testing Kits | Saliva Drug and Alcohol Testing Kits for Forensic use four transdermal nicotine patches, two of which became over-the-counter products in 1996, thus meeting the needs of many additional tobacco users.
Since the introduction of nicotine gum and the transdermal patch, estimates based on FDA and pharmaceutical industry data indicate that more than 1 million individuals have been successfully treated for nicotine addiction. In 1996 a nicotine nasal spray, and in 1998 a nicotine inhaler, became available by prescription. All the nicotine replacement products- gum, patch, spray and inhaler- appear to be equally effective. In fact, the over-the-counter availability of many of these medications, combined with increased messages to quit smoking in the media, has produced about a 20 percent increase in successful quitting each year. Personal and private PCP drug testing is an important part of helping an addict stop their substance abuse. Please visit https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop to purchase your urine drug tests today.
Although the major focus of pharmacological treatments of nicotine addiction has been nicotine replacement, other treatments are being developed for relief of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. For example, the first non-nicotine prescription drug, bupropion, an antidepressant marketed as Zyban®, has been approved for use as a pharmacological treatment for nicotine addiction. In December 1996, a Federal advisory committee recommended that the FDA approve bupropion to become the first drug to help people quit smoking that could be taken in pill form, and the first to contain no nicotine.
Behavioral interventions can play an integral role in nicotine addiction treatment. Over the past decade, this approach has spread from primarily clinic-based, formal smoking-cessation programs to application in numerous community and public health settings, and now to telephone and written formats as well. In general, behavioral methods are employed to (a) discover high-risk relapse situations, (b) create an aversion to smoking, (c) develop self-monitoring of smoking behavior, and (d) establish competing coping responses. Parents, please help your children better their health. Monitor them regularly to let them know that you love and care about their health. Parents should invest in their children with the purchase of easy-to-use personal and private urine drug testing kits on a regular basis. Your children's health depend on your involvement in their prevention and/or recovery from drug use/abuse. You can purchase a simple drug testing kit today to better their future. As an individual and/or parent, go to https://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/zshop now to invest in your's and/or your child's health.
Other key factors in successful treatment include avoiding smokers and smoking environments and receiving support from family and friends. The single most important factor, however, may be the learning and use of coping skills for both short- and long-term prevention of relapse. Smokers must not only learn behavioral and cognitive tools for relapse prevention but must also be ready to apply those skills in a crisis.
Although behavioral and pharmacological treatments can be extremely successful when employed alone, science has taught us that integrating both types of treatments will ultimately be the most effective approach. More than 90 percent of the people who try to quit smoking relapse or return to smoking within 1 year, with the majority relapsing within a week. There are, however, an estimated 2.5 to 5 percent who do in fact succeed on their own. It has been shown that pharmacological treatments can double the odds of their success. However, a combination of pharmacological and behavioral treatments further improves their chances. For example, when use of the nicotine patch is combined with a behavioral approach, such as group therapy or social support networks, the efficacy of treatment is significantly enhanced.
By: Psychology Today Staff
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