In order to understand whether a person is addicted to nicotine, i.e. tobacco, or just has a habit of tobacco smoking it is necessary to rely on clinical signs.
If we consider smoking as a habit, it is common among smokers only. A smoking habit does not imply any signs of pathological craving for tobacco smoking, nicotine withdrawal syndrome or abstinence during smoking cessation. Those who have a habit of smoking are able to stop smoking on their own. They do not need any special medical aid to do that.
In case of nicotine/tobacco addiction the course of the disease is marked by some clinical features, expressed in the following signs:
A pathological craving syndrome or an urge to smoke tobacco develops during:
• smoking cessation – withdrawal symptoms or abstinence take place;
• quitting smoking;
• remission, i.e. an interval between disease activity periods;
• relapse, i.e. disease recurrence.
The diagnostic criteria of nicotine/tobacco addiction are as follows:
• continuous tobacco consumption during a month;
• unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking as well as negative results in reducing the number of cigarettes;
• development of withdrawal syndrome, i.e. withdrawal symptoms and abstinence while attempting to quit smoking;
• the patient continues to smoke despite a threat of serious physical disorders, for example, cardiovascular and lung diseases.
Nicotine Addiction Prevention
The best way to prevent nicotine dependency is probably not to begin smoking. If you have already started smoking, the most efficient way to quit is an absolute and abrupt smoking cessation. The main thing is to find something to distract yourself and get more rest.
Dishabituation to nicotine addiction is rather difficult and long-term process involving alterations in the work of the whole body. It takes about a year to regain the normal quantity of acetylcholine receptors in the human brain, and as a rule various relapses of withdrawal syndrome may occur. But in spite of all the difficulties any person regardless of his/her stage of nicotine/tobacco addiction is able to quit the vicious habit of smoking.
If you are not ready to stop smoking forever, you are recommended to adhere to the rules which will help slow down the process of nicotine addiction progression. These are as follows:
1. Never smoke on an empty stomach. Under such conditions the absorption of products like nicotine takes place much faster.
2. Never combine smoking with drinking, for example, having coffee or tea. In this case the absorption of nicotine also takes place very quickly.
3. Never smoke while walking. When you walk your breath quickens which causes increase of nicotine absorption into your body.
4. Never smoke when you “have nothing else to do”. Fight the urge to smoke for no particular reason. It is recommended that you do not smoke until your urge becomes unbearable.
5. Never smoke more than two thirds of a cigarette. Tobacco leaves act as a natural filter, so when a cigarette is smoked completely, the concentration of the harmful substance, nicotine, increases several tens of times.