Nicotine Dependence

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nicotine dependence is an addiction to tobacco products caused by one of its ingredientsthe drug nicotine. Dr. Edward Hill discusses nicotine dependence in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Nicotine dependence also called tobacco dependence is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the drug nicotine. Nicotine dependence means you cant stop using the substance, even though its causing you harm.

Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects in your brain that are temporarily pleasing. These effects make you want to use tobacco and lead to dependence. At the same time, stopping tobacco use causes withdrawal symptoms, including irritability and anxiety. Tobacco and nicotine can be addictive like alcohol, cocaine and morphine.

While its the nicotine in tobacco that causes nicotine dependence, the toxic effects of tobacco result from other substances in tobacco. Smokers have much higher rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer than nonsmokers do.

Regardless of how long youve smoked, stopping smoking can improve your health. Many effective treatments for nicotine dependence are available to help you manage withdrawal and stop smoking for good. A smoking cessation program may improve your chance for success. Nicotine replacement therapy may also be helpful.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.