This is How Nicotine Creeps Up on You

Quitting smoking can be really easy. But to defeat nicotine, you must know thy enemy (or something like that). You don’t have to be an expert, but it is very helpful to know how nicotine addiction really works. Well… let’s have a look.
Most people find that especially at the beginning, cigarettes taste disgusting. This should be no surprise – cigarettes are poisonous! First-time smokers often feel sick and dizzy. This is the body’s natural defense mechanism telling you, “Stop! This is bad for you!”

Nicotine is the tobacco plant’s natural protection against insects. By pure chance, this natural insecticide’s chemical structure is so similar to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, once inside the brain it fits a host of chemical locks and gains control over the flow of more than two-hundred neurochemicals!

When nicotine arrives at the brain’s reward pathways, it generates a flood of dopamine. Nicotine also fits the adrenaline locks, releasing a host of fight or flight neurochemicals and select mood-impacting serotonin locks.

It is important to understand this. Nicotine is poisonous and is killing you, but it makes it seem okay because it gives you an “aaah” sensation.

In the beginning, the smoker doesn’t even notice they are addicted. Even though the addiction may have taken effect early on, the withdrawals are so weak they go unnoticed. They don’t need to smoke yet. That is why so many smokers manage to smoke only casually for years. That’s exactly what I did.

This and the fact smokers initially strongly dislike the taste lead many people to believe they will never become addicted. But actually, they already are. They just don’t yet realize it.

The smoker must maintain a certain level of nicotine in the blood stream. To make sure falling levels are noticed, withdrawal pangs kick in. This creates tension, irritability, and anxiousness.

And of course, only another cigarette will alleviate these symptoms. The new cigarette replenishes the nicotine levels, and as expected the smoker feels better…for a little while. Yes, cigarettes make you feel better. But it’s their fault you felt bad in the first place. It is a deception!

As the body gets used to the current nicotine level, more is needed. But each new cigarette is unable to replenish the sinking levels quite enough. This is when the addiction deepens and is really noticed. Cigarettes still make you feel better, but your default level of feeling okay is lower than if you didn’t smoke, even while you are smoking!

The anxiousness is now a constant. The smoker now really believes the cigarette helps him. He needs it. He completely ignores or is blind to fact that the cigarettes are causing the problem!

Even after years of smoking, most smokers don’t really like the taste of smoking – they only tell themselves they do. They learn to ignore the taste as a justification to carrying on with the addiction.

Make an effort to notice if you really like smoking. Do you like the taste, or do you just put up with it?

Cigarettes are used despite harmful effects. For example, only half of smokers who suffer a heart attack manage to quit, despite their doctor’s advice. One in two of all regular smokers die as a result of their addiction.

Since there are virtually no smokers who wouldn’t rather be non-smokers, countless attempts have been made to beat this addiction. Unfortunately, most of them fail.

So if I’m telling you quitting is easy, why do so many people struggle with this problem?

The main issue is that their methods don’t work. The people who succeed do so in spite of their method, not because of it.

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