Contributors: Marie Hunt and Dr. Emran from Simple Health Radio
On this episode of Simple Health Radio, Dr. Emran discusses why people have such a difficult time in quitting smoking. He also talks about relapses and resources available for those who want to quit.
Cigarettes are one of the most common addictions in the world and also the most difficult to quit. The main component of cigarettes is tobacco which contains the highly addictive chemical nicotine.
Nicotine has a wide range of effects on the body. It can act as a stimulant to the adrenal glands causing a release of adrenaline. However, it can also act as a sedative depending on the person’s nervous system arousal and amount of nicotine in the body.
There is a direct pathway between the brain and nicotine. When it gets disrupted, the person will experience withdrawals. Due to these withdrawals, quitting “cold-turkey” is problematic. Symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, tremors, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can be overwhelming and people often just go back to smoking to relieve these symptoms.
In the United States alone, 48,000 die every year due to cigarette smoking. This will continue to get worse if the proper steps aren’t taken to quit.
The average number of relapses is 4 and how you quit smoking is very important. Dr. Emran suggests looking at the following resources available.
Free resources to help to quit smoking:
Toll-free numbers 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- Over the counter- Nicotine replacements
o Gums, patches, sprays
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