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What is Tobacco Addiction?
Tobacco products are made from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant. The most common way to consume tobacco is to inhale the smoke from the burning leaves via a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Smokeless tobacco products are also available; these products are most commonly kept in the mouth, where chemicals contained in the leaves are absorbed through the skin.
Tobacco contains tar and nicotine, tar is a toxic substance commonly linked to cancer; nicotine is the addictive drug that keeps the user smoking that is highly addictive. Tobacco smoke and the secretions from smokeless tobacco products also contain other chemicals and ultra-fine particles that can cause damage to the body in various ways. Long-term tobacco use very often causes major health problems that can be debilitating or fatal.
Symptoms of Tobacco Addiction
Nicotine, a chemical substance considered as addictive as drugs such as heroin, is found in tobacco. Frequent use of tobacco products very often results in the dependency on nicotine. When a user is dependent on nicotine, they have intense cravings for tobacco, and they experience withdrawal symptoms when they’re unable to use it. When their tobacco use has a negative impact on their lives, users are considered to be addicted to the substance.
Symptoms of nicotine dependence include:
- A strong, almost irresistible urge to smoke or use tobacco products
- Continuing to smoke even when you know that it’s harmful to you
- Irritability when you can’t smoke
- Intrusive thoughts about smoking
- Smoking causes problems with family, friends, school, or work
- The inability to stop smoking even when you try
When you’re addicted to nicotine, you will experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t smoke for an extended period of time and the level of nicotine in your bloodstream drops.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
- Depressed mood
- Hunger or food cravings
- Intense craving for tobacco
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