The 7,000 Chemicals in Tobacco and the One That Keeps Smokers Hooked

person smoking cigarette
close up photo of lighted tobacco in a cigarette stick
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Many chemicals are found in tobacco products, but only one – nicotine – keeps smokers returning to them repeatedly. In fact, it’s the addictive nature of nicotine that makes tobacco such an undesirable yet irresistibly hard-to-quit substance. Let’s take a look at the 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and the one that has kept smokers hooked for decades.

All tobacco products are dangerous.

Cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. nicotine is the primary addictive component in tobacco products, and it is what keeps smokers coming back. Nicotine stimulates a surge of adrenaline in the brain while indirectly producing a flood of dopamine, the chemical that promotes feelings of contentment and relaxation. However, the long-term effects of smoking are much more dangerous than the short-term high.

Addictive substances alter your mood.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain. There, it binds to receptors and causes a release of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel happy and relaxed. Over time, your brain gets used to having nicotine around, producing less dopamine on its own.

Smoking puts you at risk for many diseases.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Every year, more than 480,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses. Cigarette smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems. Nicotine is highly addictive. And that’s why it’s so hard to quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking that are right for you. Quitting help may come in the form of nicotine patches that you place on your skin, therapy, and/or nicotine gum to chew.

Why do some people still smoke?

Despite the well-known dangers of tobacco use, nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Why? Because nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. This drug not only stimulates the brain’s adrenaline center, but it also increases levels of dopamine, making smokers feel good. In fact, nicotine is so addictive that people who try to quit smoking often fail multiple times before they can kick the habit for good. So if you are not successful in the past, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful in the future.

The truth about nicotine addiction.

Nicotine addiction is a real phenomenon. And it’s not just smokers who are addicted to nicotine. People who use tobacco products in any form can become addicted to nicotine. In fact, nicotine addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Quitting cold turkey often leads to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. The best way to quit smoking or using other forms of tobacco is by getting professional help with your plan – including counseling or therapy sessions.

Solutions to curb nicotine addiction.

Though nicotine is highly addictive, there are ways to curb its hold on smokers. Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few solutions that may help:
Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking. There are many options available to help you quit, including medication and counseling.
Join a support group. There are often groups available to help people quit smoking. Talking to others who are going through the same thing can be helpful and motivating.


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Ubuntu Village will be traveling to Africa soon and we would like to document this trip and any other trips taken in a blog format.

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