Tobacco is a plant cultivated for its leaves, which are dried and fermented before being used to make tobacco products. Tobacco includes nicotine, a chemical that may lead to addiction, which is why so many smokers struggle to quit. There are several more potentially hazardous compounds contained in tobacco or produced by its combustion.
What is the most common way that people use Tobacco Products?
Tobacco can be smoked, chewed, or sniffed. Cigarettes, cigars, bidis, and kreteks are examples of smoked tobacco products. Some individuals also use a pipe or hookah to smoke loose tobacco (water pipe). Chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, and snuff are all chewed tobacco products; snuff can also be smelled.
What is the impact of tobacco on the brain?
When a person smokes a tobacco product, the nicotine easily gets into the bloodstream. When nicotine enters the bloodstream, it instantly stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline). Epinephrine activates the central nervous system, raising blood pressure, respiration rate, and heart rate. Nicotine, like cocaine and heroin, stimulates the brain’s reward circuits and raises levels of the chemical messenger dopamine, which reinforces rewarding behaviors. Other compounds in tobacco smoke, such as acetaldehyde, may boost nicotine’s effects on the brain, according to research.
What are the other health consequences of cigarette use?
Although nicotine is addictive, other compounds are responsible for the majority of the harmful health effects of tobacco smoking. Smoking tobacco can cause lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. It raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Other malignancies, such as leukemia, cataracts, Type 2 Diabetes, and pneumonia, have also been related to smoking. All of these dangers are associated with the use of any smoked substance, including hookah tobacco. Tobacco use without smoking raises the risk of cancer, particularly mouth cancer.
Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes have a higher chance of miscarriage, stillbirth, early birth, or low birth weight babies. Smoking during pregnancy may also be linked to learning and behavioral issues in children who are exposed.
People who stand or sit near smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, which can come from the burning end of the tobacco product or be exhaled by the smoker. Secondhand smoke can potentially cause lung cancer and heart problems. It can cause coughing, phlegm, decreased lung function, pneumonia, and bronchitis in both adults and children. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get ear infections, severe asthma, lung infections, and die from sudden infant death syndrome.
What factors contribute to tobacco addiction?
For many smokers, the brain alterations caused by repeated nicotine exposure lead to addiction. When attempting to stop, a person may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
- problems paying attention
- trouble sleeping
- increased appetite
- powerful cravings for tobacco
How can individuals receive help for their nicotine addiction?
People can quit smoking using both behavioral treatments and medications, but the combination of medication and counselling is more effective than either alone.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has developed a nationwide toll-free quit line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, to serve as a resource for anybody seeking information and assistance in quitting smoking.
To assist smokers stop smoking, behavioral therapies include a number of strategies, ranging from self-help materials to therapy. These therapies educate people how to identify high-risk situations and devise ways for dealing with them. People who hang out with other smokers, for example, are more likely to smoke and less likely to stop.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) were the first drugs authorized for use in smoking cessation therapy by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
NRT products now authorised by the FDA include chewing gum, transdermal patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, and lozenges. NRTs deliver a controlled dose of nicotine to alleviate withdrawal symptoms while the user attempts to quit smoking.
Bupropion (Zyban®) and varenicline (Chantix®) are two non-nicotine drugs that have been licenced by the FDA to assist individuals stop smoking. They target nicotine receptors in the brain, alleviating withdrawal symptoms and preventing nicotine’s effects if patients resume smoking.
Is it possible to overdose on nicotine?
Nicotine is deadly, and while it is unusual, an overdose is conceivable. An overdose happens when a person consumes too much of a substance, resulting in a toxic response that causes significant, harmful symptoms or death. Nicotine poisoning most commonly happens in young children who chew on nicotine gum or patches used to stop smoking or ingest e-cigarette juice.
Breathing difficulties, vomiting, fainting, headache, weakness, and an elevated or lowered heart rate are among symptoms. Anyone who suspects a kid or adult is suffering from a nicotine overdose should seek emergency medical attention.