Tobacco is one of the most widely abused substances in the world. It is highly addictive. Although tobacco use appears to be on the decline in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 percent of adults still smoke. This is despite nearly 70 percent of smokers wanting to quit.
Addiction Telemed is here to help you quit and benefit from a smoke-free life.
Why is it so hard to stop?
Nicotine, the main addictive chemical in tobacco, causes a rush of adrenaline when absorbed in the bloodstream or inhaled via cigarette smoke. Nicotine also triggers an increase in dopamine—the brain’s “happy” chemical. This stimulates the area of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Unfortunately, this feeling is only temporary. After your body rids itself of the drug, you start to crave another cigarette. Like any other drug, use of tobacco over time can cause a physical and psychological addiction. This is also true for smokeless forms of tobacco such as snuff and chewing tobacco.
How do I know if I am addicted?
While some individuals can smoke socially or occasionally, others become addicted. An addiction may be present if the person:
- cannot stop smoking or chewing, despite attempts to quit
- has withdrawal symptoms when he or she tries to quit ( shaky hands, sweating, irritability, or rapid heart rate
- must smoke or chew after every meal or after long periods of time without using, like after a movie or work meeting
- needs tobacco products to feel “normal” or turns to them during times of stress
- gives up activities or won’t attend events where smoking or tobacco use is not allowed
- continues to smoke despite health problems
Is it really possible to quit?
Absolutely! With proper treatment, tobacco addiction can be managed. Like other drugs, addiction to tobacco is never really “cured.” In other words, it is something that a person may battle for the rest of his or her life.
Tobacco users tend to have high relapse rates. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that about three-quarters of individuals who try to end chronic tobacco use end up relapsing within six months. A longer treatment period or change in approach may prevent a future relapse. Research has also shown that altering lifestyle habits, such as avoiding situations where there will be other tobacco users or implementing a positive behavior (like exercising) when cravings start, and having a reliable support system, like the team at Addiction Telemed, can help improve chances for recovery.
Without treatment, tobacco addiction can have fatal consequences. According to the CDC, every year in the United States, one in five of all deaths are related to tobacco use. Tobacco use can cause:
- cancers of the lungs, throat, and mouth
- heart disease
- chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis
Any one of these conditions can be fatal. Quitting smoking or tobacco use can significantly reduce the risk of death due to these diseases. Even once the disease has been diagnosed, stopping tobacco use can improve treatment efforts.
Addiction Telemed provides effective and affordable outpatient treatment for smoking cessation. We utilize telemedicine service to provide one-on-one webcam appointments. We can help you, as needed, from the privacy of your own home or office. We use combination of medications (Chantix, Nicotine Patches) along with counseling.
Contact us today to take the first step toward recovery and discover your life beyond addiction!