New Year’s Resolutions

Premier Physician Network providers answer Frequently Asked Questions about Being Healthier in the New Year.

How is nicotine addictive, and what effect does it have on a person’s body?

Nicotine is an addictive drug, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream when you use a tobacco product – whether you are chewing, inhaling or smoking.

In the bloodstream, nicotine immediately causes the release of adrenaline, which stimulates the central nervous system and increases your blood pressure, respiration and heart rate, according to the NIH.

Nicotine also increases levels of dopamine, which controls reward and pleasure pathways in the brain – just like illegal drugs cocaine, heroin and marijuana do, according to the NIH.

These feelings of pleasure add to what make nicotine and smoking so addictive. And, that addiction is why it is so hard for smokers to quit the bad habit, even when their health is on the line, according to the NIH.

Talk to your physician for more information about the addictive qualities of nicotine.

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Source: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Geetha Ambalavanan, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Meghan Brewster, MD, Beavercreek Family Medicine; Sally McIntyre, MD, Belmont Physicians; Angelia Mickle, DNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Cindy Smith, MD, West Carrollton Family Medicine; Dori Thompson, MD, Springboro Family Medicine