It’s no secret that tobacco and nicotine kill. Nevertheless, the tobacco industry is powerful — and continues to portray smoking in a positive light.
At the same time, e-cigarettes and vaping devices have become widely available and have attracted a whole new generation of nicotine users. While these devices may offer a safer option than cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products, they encourage users to develop a nicotine addiction, essentially functioning as “training wheels” for cigarette smoking.
The active chemical in tobacco is a substance called nicotine, and it is as addictive as heroin. Nicotine causes physical addiction as well as psychological addiction. Not only is smoking often part of social activities, it can also help to calm anxiety, agitation and anger. As a result, it can be very difficult to stop using tobacco products. A 2012 study showed that more people succeeded in breaking their addictions to alcohol, opiates or cocaine than to nicotine.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms begin soon after the most recent use, and can include:
On its own, nicotine does not cause cancer. However, as the addictive element in tobacco, it compels people to continue smoking or using tobacco products despite their awareness of the harmful effects.
Fortunately, quitting tobacco can reverse many of the effects of smoking. By quitting now, you can improve your health almost immediately, dramatically reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, and extend your life expectancy.
You probably know from your own experience, or from others who have tried to quit smoking: The withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are no fun. And it’s exceptionally hard to quit. But there’s help available. FDA-approved medications — including nicotine replacement therapies that gradually reduce dosage, as well as bupropion and varenicline — can make it much easier. And you can boost your chances for success by combining smoking cessation medications and behavioral treatment.
As part of a substance abuse treatment program, Harbor Village offers therapeutic strategies, including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, that are especially effective at treating nicotine addiction. Meditation and mindfulness help promote both physical and spiritual wellness in the process.
We can help you end your addiction, and put down cigarettes and other nicotine products for good. Get in touch with Harbor Village today. We’ll help you find a healthier, more vibrant life!