Nicotine Addiction

What Is Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine Addiction, also called tobacco dependence, is when a person is addicted to nicotine, which naturally occurs in the tobacco plant.  Cigarettes, cigar, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, as well as nicotine replacement products all contain nicotine.  Smoking tobacco has been viewed differently over time, but is now understood that it can cause major health problems such as heart disease, lung cancer, and even Erectile Dysfunction.  According to the American Heart Association, roughly 25 million men and over 21 million women in America smoke cigarettes, and nearly 1 in every 5 deaths is cigarette related. 

Signs Of Nicotine Addiction

Symptoms of Nicotine Addiction can vary from person to person.  Some people become completely dependent on tobacco and rely on it to get through the day, while others may experience withdrawal symptoms if they don't use it.  Physical dependence, meaning that the person gets shaky, sweaty, anxious, or nauseous without smoking, is another sign of Nicotine Addiction.  More signs and symptoms are as follows.

  • Smoking more than usual
  • Increased tolerance to nicotine
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop smoking (can be anything from anxiety, restlessness, mood swings, strong cravings, anger, or increased hunger)
  • You keep smoking (despite the onset of health problems)
  • Your personal or professional life is inhibited by smoking tobacco
What Causes Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine, which is the addictive ingredient in tobacco, is the thing that keeps smokers addicted.  When a person inhales tobacco smoke, it directly enters the lungs and nicotine gets released into the bloodstream, which makes it travel to the brain in seconds.  Nicotine increases the release of dopamine, which is a chemical that improves mood and feelings of pleasure. Smoking tobacco can then make you feel good, which is why people become addicted.  Common causes can include:

  • A Mental Health Problem (anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia)
  • Social Smoking (being in social situations with other people who smoke)
  • A Parent who has a Nicotine Addiction
  • Experiencing high levels of stress
  • Excessive smoking (more than a pack of cigarettes a day)
  • Low self-esteem
  • A young adult experiencing peer pressure


Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • One of the best things for people, who have and addiction to anything, is to attend meetings.  These meetings are designed to be a safe place for people with addictive personalities.  You can share your struggles with quitting tobacco or if a family member's life is crippled by the substance.  Attending these meetings will educate the addict or family members about the severity of addiction.  They are often a place of solace and help many addicts find sobriety.  In certain circumstances, therapy can also be a great remedy.  
  • Exercise can also help relieve the body of stress and help take the mind off smoking tobacco.  When you’re exercising, your focus is not on smoking, rather, you concentrate on the way you feel.  Exercise helps to boost the body's production of endorphins, which improve one's mood and decrease the desire and need for tobacco.  
  • Acupuncture also helps release endorphins by using certain pressure points.  It may help to relieve anxiety and increase overall wellness.  Placing the needles in certain points actually neutralize stress hormones, which the body releases into the bloodstream when stressed. 
  • Taking a biochemical approach to repair the body is a great natural remedy that can aid one's path to quitting tobacco use.  First one must detox, repair the damage, and then care for the body.  Remove tobacco or mind altering substances, caffeine, or sugar from your diet.  Stick to plant-based foods that provide the nutrients you need for recovery because a poor diet can lead to tobacco cravings.  Additionally, refrain from hanging around people who smoke tobacco.  Finally, keep yourself busy to avoid boredom, as this is the first step on the road to relapse. 
  • Nicotine is so addictive, and hard to quit, because it lives in your body as a toxin.  It can be hard to flush out of your system, but drinking lots of water can help rid your body of nicotine because water is a natural detoxifier. Drinking the recommended 8-10 glasses of water every day can help detoxify your body.  You can also drink half your body weight in ounces of water to be properly hydrated.  If you weight 150lbs and divide that by 2 to get 75, you should be drinking 75oz of water every day. 
  • Ginger and ginseng can help you on your path to quitting tobacco use because they can help with the nausea that may result during the withdrawal period.  Both of these herbs help soothe the digestive system, and combating this nausea may help you overcome the urge to smoke. 
  • There has to be a will to stop smoking cigarettes.  The individual needs to commit to stop smoking and use the natural remedies in this list to avoid continued tobacco use. 
Things you should eat
  • Grapes
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrot
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, chard, & collards)
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Radishes
  • Kiwis
  • Strawberries
  • Honeydew
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
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