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Why are cigarettes addictive?

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posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 05:15 AM
Why is it hard to quit smoking, are cigarette sort of drugs? And can anyone tell me why smoking is considered cool

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 05:35 AM
The main addictive property (ingredient) of cigarettes is nicotine.

The substance in tobacco that causes addiction is called nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant that causes us to temporarily feel good or energized. If you are depressed, it can provide a short boost. It also causes the release of natural chemicals in our brain called beta-endorphins. These chemicals cause us to feel more alert and calm. The problem is that nicotine isn't stored in the body so these effects last only a few minutes. We need to absorb more and more nicotine to make the effects last.

If we consume nicotine long enough, our brains may compensate and lower our natural energy level or mood. So, instead of providing a temporary high, people smoke just to feel "normal". When some people go without tobacco for more than a few hours they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as lack of energy, slight depression, and difficulty concentrating. They smoke to avoid feeling this way. But when you quit for good, withdrawal symptoms will pass within a few days. This is evidence that your body has begun to heal itself.
Nicotine is also highly addictive because it causes changes in your brain.


As for actual smoking - IMO it's not really a "cool" habit any more. In the mid-20th century, it may have been made out as "cool" by the media - including Hollywood. There are several articles about the culture of smoking (Example). It's a much-talked about issue...

Why do you ask?

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 05:36 AM
Id also like to say that natural tobacco can be less addictive than *most* cigarettes,its the nicotine that makes them addictive,but it has been shown that cigarette companies cut their tobacco with ammonia much like coc aine is cut from acid to base.This boosts the nicotine bioavailability by getting more nicotine into the lungs ie bloodstream by as much as 100 fold before combustion occurs.And smoking is not cool in the slightest.

[edit on 2-3-2009 by Solomons]

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 09:49 AM
I don't think it was ever cool to smoke. It was acceptable for a long time. At other times, it was a major bad-boy image. Now, it's an image of rebellion. Kids are smoking as much today as they did when I was a kid and no one really cared if you smoked or not. Just like pot, the "badder" it gets, the more likely a lot of kids will do it. However, in the adult environment, it is declining fairly rapidly. In my case, I've been hooked for about 30 years. I've quit many times, but that feel-good jolt that comes with it is SOOO hard to give up. Gonna try again, this time with the latest fad, lozenges.

Nicotine, as with any other drug, has many ways it becomes addictive. In the case of nicotine, when your body isn't producing it naturally, it tries less to. It knows it can get its fix externally. When a person smokes habitually, the body produces less natural nicotine. So, the key to quitting smoking is to replace that nicotine with something less dangerous. Then, of course, ween off the replacement over time. Sounds easy, it's not. I actually enjoy the act of smoking a lot the time. With smoke, you control how much you get to a fine art. Stressed? Big puffs. Relaxed, slow easy puffs. Drunk? Lots of puffs. Then of course there's the image and act of actually lighting up. Those fascinated with fire and watching things burn love to watch that glow at the end when lighting one up. When trying to quit, the mind works against you most of the time. It's telling you how much you'd enjoy a cigarette the entire time you're quitting. Months afterwards, it will still be telling you how much you enjoy that last cigarette. It's not lying to you, it wants its nicotine.

Now, I come from a generation when smoking was condoned and tolerated everywhere. We smoked in church ( not during the sermon of course ). Things have changed a lot over the years. Although a smoker now, I can not believe how stupid kids are to become smokers today. When I was a kid a pack was 50 cents. A carton was easily gotten for less than $5. The financial impact of smoking today is way out of proportion to what it was then. Plus, we didn't know the health impact of smoking then. We've got a better idea now ( I don't think they'll kill you dead for being in the same room as a smoker, but the long-term impact is obvious for the smoker ). So, I'll try to quit again this year.

And, I'm sick and tired of every state thinking they can solve the country's economic woes by taxing smokers. If it's such a true health issue, then ban the damn things entirely. Just don't turn around and ask me to condone legalizing pot. Smoke is smoke.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:37 PM
Smoking initiates many processes in the body. As nicotine enters, the endorphin is released and you are actually becoming high. Yes these are sort of drugs which have obvious symptoms like becoming anxious, sweating and feeling of physical illness on removal. But you can easily give-up this habit. I found a good e-book on “Smoking Cessation” ( Concerning cigarettes being cool, I don’t agree with you. What I feel is that some great personalities fall victim to this habit making it look cool which is surely a myth.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:00 PM
Because it feels good and I like it.

Mark Twain once said " Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times."

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:18 PM
^^^^^ Beat me to it.

I freaking love to smoke. I love to smoke cigarettes, joints, cigars, whatever.

I also should not smoke. It is a profoundly stupid thing to do. It does not seem very "cool" to me.

So I quit. No smoking for me. Again. For the nth time. When I quit, I quit cold turkey, and I have no withdrawal symptoms to speak of. But I do miss it, because I really, really like to do it.

If I get a terminal disease, or get really old, or am otherwise near death, and you want to find me, just look for the dense cloud of fragrant, delicious smoke surrounding a happy sinner.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:32 PM

Originally posted by Grumble
^^^^^ Beat me to it.

I freaking love to smoke. I love to smoke cigarettes, joints, cigars, whatever.

I also should not smoke. It is a profoundly stupid thing to do. It does not seem very "cool" to me.

So I quit. No smoking for me. Again. For the nth time. When I quit, I quit cold turkey, and I have no withdrawal symptoms to speak of. But I do miss it, because I really, really like to do it.

If I get a terminal disease, or get really old, or am otherwise near death, and you want to find me, just look for the dense cloud of fragrant, delicious smoke surrounding a happy sinner.

Man your hard core - I quit and I feel like warmed over death, brain fog, no sleep and

I'm on day 6, nic free today

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 06:44 PM
I've had a pet theory about tobacco for years. The nicotine might be closely related to niacinamid or Vitamin B-3. If that's true, the body may be turning some of the nicotine into B-3. If there are any biochemists here, please comment on this? So any smokers out there try taking 50 mgs. or more of Niacinamide on an empty stomach with water or juice in the morning and see if it decreases the urge to smoke. Let us know the results.

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 06:52 PM
Nicotine floods the 'reward receptors'. Over time the body slows down produciton of those chemicals and thus builds dependancy on the nocotine. Basically the same premise of all addictions. This is simplified, trying to not bring in chems etc..

I started smoking when I was 13. This was my choice-nobody pressured me in it. I was curious why people did and started.

I smoked until I was 26 or so. Quit. The 'nici-fits' were there for the next 3 years. In that time you are always looking for excuses to have another. Anything/everything that causes stress can be reason enough to 'just have one' which turns into 'well, I already had one, I can have another, I will just not have any later' to 'I was smoking today, I just wont tomorrow.' and further and further.

I quit for 3 years and got stressed enough I started again. Quit again and started again 2 weeks ago.

The withdrawels for me are a constant under set of anxiety. One drag gets rid of it.

BTW. Nictotine is more or less same thing as nicotinamid. At least it binds to the same receptors. Chantix competes with it and removes all the reward from smoking. While on Chantix it feels like you just smoked an entire pack but at the same time want another-then one drag and it just tastes like nasty smoke and you wind up tossing it away.

But yeah. It is so hard to quit in part because they are everywhere, and in part because of the intense withdrawels that always come back during stress... after dinner... while driving etc. etc. I am sure other addictions are similar.

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 07:22 PM
reply to post by Gemwolf

To say that nicotine is the primary addictive agent in cigarettes is true, but the reason why cigarettes are so addictive is more to do with the additives, and the psychology of dependence.

Ammonia is a key factor in making cigarettes addictive - it aids in rapidly vaporizing nicotine, converting it from a solid/liquid with a mildly acidic PH into a alkaline gas, which can be readily absorbed by the lungs and distributed to the blood/brain. Smoking natural-wrap cigars is much, much less addictive because of this.

Also, the psychology of smoking is key. Whether they know it or not, most smokers smoke to regulate mood. Most of them will tell you "I smoke to de-stress, to calm down, to relax." We generate a link between relaxation and smoking, and the behavior of smoking becomes associated with good feelings and stress-relief.

So, smoking is a psychological and physiological addiction - roughly equivalent in intensity to heroin, and many times more addictive than coc aine.

If you disassociate the smoking with the relaxation, you have a better chance of quitting, because other behaviors begin to be associated with relaxation. This is why a lot of people have better success quitting when they take up meditation, yoga, etc..

I'm a smoker of about 16 years, and I have no intention of quitting - just to give you some idea of where I'm coming from.

I smoke to relax, and I smoke to hold my ground against what I consider a serious assault on my personal liberty, and last but not least I smoke to prevent alzheimers. I've seen the results of cancer of the lung, and I've seen the results of emphysema, and I've seen the results of Alzheimers disease. I would take the two former over the latter in a heartbeat - no question.

I've read a ton of material on smoking and the health effects and the additives and so on, and I still choose to smoke. I don't see how the government, or any of my fellow citizens, have anything to say about it.

For me, the benefits outweigh the risks. I would rather be a physically sick, mentally sane person, than a basketcase with a nice pink set of lungs. To each their own.

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 07:23 PM
Smoking is not cool. It killed my mother, at 68. She died with full oxygen on, quite uncomfortable, scared. The narcotic syrup didn't seem to help at the end. My friend's step-father died of throat cancer from smoking 40 years. His throat burst from a hemorrhage caused by the cancer perforating his esophagus. It shot his false teeth out. There were blood clots in his teeth laying on your chest. His last words, "Oh God!" My father, and father in law, pipe and cigarettes, had complications from COPD, caused by smoking, all of it contributed to their pnuemonia's. My father actually died of brain cancer, he smoked from age 16. Bogart died of throat cancer, John Wayne...

There's 110 chemical compounds in burned cigarettes that go into your lungs and stick to the air sacs. Arsenic, cyanide...

Lead us not into temptation...

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 07:36 PM
Its not just the usual nicotine found in naturally grown tobacco.
In the 60's they did things to commercial cigarettes to make them even more addictive.
They put the nicotine with other compounds that made it physically enter your brain tissue, past the blood.
So even after 10 years of quitting and getting the health benefits from that, you still have nicotine in your brain.So you still have a risk of starting again.
They even say this affect has already put physical things in baby's brains of mothers who smoked, so they have a higher risk of smoking themselves.

posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 09:46 PM
WyrdeOne, There are better, smarter ways to relax. Read the Magnesium thread. I know cause I remember quite clearly, that I started to get panic attacks in 5th grade. I couldn't read in front of the class anymore. It didn't go away until I discovered Magnesium in the 1980s. If you take the highest quality Mag. with Co-Enzyme-Bs, some Potassium, and a drop or two of Iodine you'll be so calm you won't believe the difference. It certainly beats destroying your body, not to mention the cost.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 03:20 AM
Nicotine content of cigarettes is responsible for the addictive nature and smoking is the worst habit a person can have as it is not only affecting the person but also affecting people around. Chantix is one of those FDA approved drugs which can be used to get over smoking habit. It works on body by giving you the same feel good effect like smoking and hence reduces the craving for nicotine. You can have all the information on chantix here This medicine should only be used in accordance with the instructions of a physician as there are various side effects which may vary from person to person and it includes change of taste, sleeplessness and many more. I have smoked for more than 10 yrs around 12-15 a day, but now I am spending a smoke free life from last 2 months. Thanks to chantix. Along with having this medicine, you should also have will power and feeling that you want to get over this habit.

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 10:11 PM
Why is smoking viewed as "cool?" Because at some point in time, many years ago, a "cool" person smoked. People saw this, and emulated it. Over time, more and more "cool" people were smokers. James Dean smoked. Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt both smoke/smoked. Like idiots, people who want to be like these people decide that they should smoke. Usually, the "cool" person is a friend or classmate that the naive soon-to-be-smoker wants to emulate. It's the herd mentality.

I don't think that smoking makes me cool. I think that it's a sign of temporary stupidity, which resulted in me becoming a slave to an addiction.

I also love smoking; but my advice to kids: Don't Smoke!

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