Overcoming Addiction

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Of course, smoking and other tobacco use have an addictive component due to the nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco as well as a drug. As a tobacco user, your body craves nicotine, and subsequently becomes addicted to it.

While nicotine is addictive, it is important to know that nicotine does not cause cancer. It's all of the other dangerous chemicals in tobacco products that cause cancer and other diseases.

So, why does smoking make you feel better when you are craving a cigarette? Well, tobacco delivers nicotine to your brain to keep you from feeling withdrawal pains.  So it doesn't make you feel better, it just keeps you from feeling bad.  But the addiction only lasts about 48 hours, beyond that, it is all about habit.

As a nurse, you are probably aware that there are medications that can help your body deal with withdrawal.  Medication may help you improve your chances for quitting successfully.

Some medications work by giving your body a little nicotine – just enough to keep you from feeling bad. There are also medications with no nicotine. They can also increase your chances of quitting. Medication assists in controlling your nicotine craving. After a while, your body won't crave nicotine allowing you to quit taking the medication.

People can quit without medication, but medication can be a good tool. Before taking any tobacco cessation medication, consult with your health care provider.

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