90% of all lung cancers are linked to cigarette smoking. Tobacco use accounts for 1/3 of all types of cancers. Why then do people continue to smoke cigarettes?
First let’s first identify an “addiction.”
Psychologists define addiction as something that refers to the state of being dependent on something. It could either be psychological or physical, but whatever it is, addiction insinuates a neurotic or persistent urge to repeat everything that caused the person’s dependency.
Nicotine is one of the toughest stimulants ever recognized and one of the hardest chemicals to break the habit from using.
Basically, when a person smokes, the nicotine is directly infused into the brain. In fact, nicotine reaches the brain in just 10 seconds of inhalation. The nicotine from cigarettes causes the “pleasure hormone” known as dopamine to be released. Dopamine is a hormone that produces feelings of happiness and well-being. The satisfaction a person gets whenever they inhale nicotine is totally rewarding for them. The feelings of pleasure and well-being reinforce smoking behavior. In the long run, the process becomes a habit, and the habit leads to addiction.
Repeated exposure to the nicotine-dopamine reaction reduces the effect so more cigarettes are required to obtain the desired result. Many smokers will tell you that the best cigarette of the day is the first one because the reward or desired effect lessens with each cigarette they smoke. So that little by little, they will continue to use 5 sticks a day, then 10 sticks, to get the same results. The effects of nicotine on the brain also don’t last long increasing your desire to smoke again.
How long you’ve been smoking and how many cigarettes you smoke will impact your degree of addiction.
35 million people attempt to quit each year. Only 5% of those who attempt to quit on their own are successful. There are several products on the market to help you beat your addiction. You might try nicotine patches or nicotine gum. Or take time to visit your doctor he will have other options to try.
So, the bottom line here is that not starting to smoke may be the one of the smartest decisions you will make. Once hooked on smoking, it will be very hard to stop.