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What Causes Vaping Addiction?
Nicotine is so addictive because it interferes with brain chemistry in a way that drives users to need ever-increasing doses in order to feel well. Vaping is likely to cause addiction because it very quickly and directly introduces nicotine into the lungs, where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered directly to the brain within seconds of inhalation.
Once in the brain, nicotine triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters. One of these chemicals, called dopamine, stimulates parts of the brain that produce feelings of well-being, happiness, or even euphoria. The result is a quick, intense “high” that makes the user associate vaping with good feelings.
The problem is that the good feeling is very short-lived, much more so even than the high associated with other addictive drugs. The fleeting euphoria drives the user to continue vaping in order to maintain the good feeling.
Even worse, continued vaping decreases the brain’s sensitivity to dopamine, leading to a need for more frequent vaping to trigger the pleasant effects. Regular use also alters the brain circuitry that controls learning, stress, and impulse control. These changes can contribute to withdrawal symptoms.
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