Western Michigan University
Abstract Tobacco is the second most abused drug in American. What is it about tobacco that people can’t get enough? Nicotiana Tabaccum, also known as Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that is highly addictive and takes multiple times to quit. It’s hard for the majority of tobacco addicts to quit because of the withdrawal symptoms such as: anger, weight gain, hunger, restless and many more. Treatment is suggested for those who need assistance with quitting. There are behavioral treatments and medications that are offered but a combination of the two is the most effective.The brain is affected by tobacco the same as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. When the nicotine enters the blood stream the adrenal glands are stimulated and neurotransmitters release dopamine in the brain which gives you the reward and pleasure feeling. When you are dependent on nicotine and are withdrawing from not consuming what your body craves, you end up feeding your body more nicotine which causes addiction. 98% of tobacco addicts start their addiction in the adolescent stage of their life. If parents can step in and be more involved in their child’s life these statistics can decrease.
In 2012, an estimated 69.5 million Americans over the age of 12 used tobacco. The most common age groups that have affiliated with tobacco were 21 to 25 year olds. Tobacco is the second most used drug in America following behind alcohol (Duffy, 2012). A major chemical in tobacco that causes addiction is nicotine. Nicotiana Tabaccum (nicotine) was discovered in America around 6,000 B.C. Nicotine was only used for medicinal purposes for the bubonic plague in the middle ages. In the 1600s there was a theory that diseases like cancer and tobacco use linked together (Trimarchi, Meeker-O’Conell, 2014). Tobacco use is one thing but tobacco abuse can lead to serious risks in the near future. Tobacco use first starts in adolescents and often leads to nicotine addiction. Many factors can affect individual’s tobacco use and tobacco-related mortality. Imbalance of both is reported by race, gender, ethnicity, level of education, socioeconomic status, and geographic region. Most people who choose to smoke and develop diseases that will cause their death are less educated and more likely to be in poverty. Adult smokers (98%) most likely started smoking during adolescents, adult smokers (82%) started before the age of 16 (Ranney, Melvin, Lux, McClain, Morgan, Lohr, 2006). When smoking tobacco or using smokeless tobacco you start becoming addicted to the chemical inside called nicotine. When you stop smoking, the reduced nicotine will disrupt the balance of The Central Nervous System, causing withdrawal symptoms. The most common withdrawal symptoms are: cravings for tobacco, anger, irritation, increased appetite, weight gain, concentration problems, depression or low mood, tiredness, constipation, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety. As bad as tobacco is, it is one of the drugs that has the shortest longevity of withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, these symptoms go away after a few weeks (Sutherland, 2014). When an individual smokes a cigarette for the first time, the nicotine raises the individual’s blood pressure, heart rate, and the flow of blood from the heart. Without abusing nicotine there are short term affects. Nicotine may narrow the arteries when consumed. When tobacco is inhaled carbon monoxide is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, which reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. The carbon monoxide combined with the nicotine creates an imbalance in the need for oxygen by the cells which the blood is able to supply (AHA, CDC, 2014). Abusing tobacco can give endless amounts of longer term effects. Abusing tobacco can cause coronary heart disease, and chronic lung disease. Tobacco is popular for causing different types of cancers to. Depending on the type of