A 2012 study reported that people were more successful quitting alcohol, cocaine and heroin than quitting nicotine. Not only is nicotine physically addictive and capable of causing significant and extended withdrawal symptoms, it’s also psychologically addictive. People often rely on tobacco products as a way of dealing with unpleasant feelings such as worry, sadness or anger. Smoking and vaping are also involved in social activities, which makes it even more of a challenge to quit.
Nicotine addiction starts surprisingly young. A 2014 Surgeon General’s Report indicates 99% of adult smokers started smoking before age 18, and nearly all were smokers by the age of 26. While the terrible health effects of smoking are well understood and highly publicized, the tobacco industry continues to market cigarettes and other tobacco products directly to teens, portraying their use as glamorous, attractive and above all, safe.
The tobacco industry has also succeeded in targeting a younger generation of nicotine users with e-cigarettes and vaping devices. While vapor-based nicotine is a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, they aren’t necessarily safe. The majority of teens who vape go on to become smokers.
Cigarette smoke contributes to at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, and contains 69 carcinogenic chemicals. Heavy smokers’ death rates from cancer are four times that of nonsmokers. The most common of smoking-related cancers is lung cancer, but it has also been associated with cancers of the throat, mouth, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, cervix, bladder, kidney and more.
Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of:
By quitting smoking, you can limit the risk of most of these diseases and prolong your life expectancy.
Without medical assistance, withdrawal from nicotine can start soon after you quit. The list of nicotine withdrawal symptoms is long and can include restlessness or boredom, headaches, trouble sleeping, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, cough, dry mouth, sore throat, constipation, gas, frustration, chest tightness, impatience, and anger, increased appetite, slower heart rate, dizziness (which may last a day or 2 after quitting), anxiety, nightmares, tiredness, irritability and depression.
Good news: While nicotine addiction is difficult to overcome, we can help you beat it. The best chances at quitting are with a combination of smoking cessation medications and behavioral therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of withdrawal. For example, over-the-counter and prescription nicotine replacement therapies gradually reduce your nicotine dosage over time. as well as bupropion and varenicline to limit cravings. You’ll also find peace and centeredness in our wellness program. So when you’ve decided you’re tired of being addicted to tobacco and nicotine, let us know. Hope Canyon can help you move on for good.