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What Leads To Nicotine Dependence & Can It Be Treated?

Nicotine is the drug present in tobacco products, which causes nicotine dependence or addiction. This is a common type of chemical dependency prevailing in the entire nation. Research has revealed that nicotine is addictive in the same way, like alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Almost every smoker has an addiction to different combinations of various stimulants present in cigarettes or cigars. In this way, nicotine dependence makes their personal experience with nicotine dependence a unique one. combinations in this case refer to the addictive property present in a cigarette, which increases your cravings further. (1)

What Leads To Nicotine Dependence & Can It Be Treated?

What Leads To Nicotine Dependence?

The addictive quality present in nicotine itself is the prime cause behind nicotine addiction. Nicotine enhances the release of various neurotransmitters, which regular your mood and behavior both. Even nicotine activates the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This gives a pleasant feel to cigarette smokers. Thus, people indulging in the habit of smoking nicotine have craved the dopamine rush. Research experts have said that whenever you inhale the nicotine, the brain will affect within only a few seconds. The heart rate further increases the levels of the hormone i.e. the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline to enhance your mood as well as boost your concentration.

If any individual does not smoke for some time, the mentioned hormones level in him/her drop significantly to create feelings of anxiety and cause irritation. This makes the person search for another nicotine booster. Moreover, the urge to smoke takes place at a specific period of the day. These include after having dinner, during a morning coffee and at specific places, like toilets, pubs or bars. Experts involved in the analysis of nicotine dependence said that nicotine-addicted individuals should identify and deal with their specific behaviors, cues, triggers, and situations, which often linked with smoking activities. (2)

Can Nicotine Dependence Be Treated?

OTC Nicotine Medicines: Nicotine replacement therapy provides you nicotine without any other harmful chemicals including tobacco, as you found in the case of tobacco smoking. Because of this, nicotine replacement medicines help you in relieving your withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings towards tobacco smoking.

Nicotine Patch: Nicotine patch delivers nicotine from your skin and into the bloodstream. You have to wear a new patch daily for about eight weeks.

Nicotine Gum: Nicotine gum delivers nicotine to the blood from your mouth linings with the aim to curb your cravings. You should chew nicotine gum for the time you feel a mild peppery taste. Later on, place the gum between your gumline and cheek for a long period. While you chew and place nicotine, it absorbs within your bloodstream.

Nicotine Lozenges: Nicotine lozenges dissolve in the mouth easily and deliver nicotine via your mouth linings. You need to nicotine lozenge between your cheek and gumline or beneath the tongue in your mouth to let it dissolve. You have to start with a single lozenge every 1 or 2hours period.

Prescribed Nicotine Drugs For Nicotine Dependence

Nicotrol NS i.e. Nicotine Nasal Spray: In the case of Nicotrol NS product, nicotine will spray directly into each of the nostrils. later on, your nasal membranes present in the blood vessels will absorb the sprayed nicotine. Doctors prescribe nasal spray to deliver nicotine for a period of a maximum of 6 months.

Nicotrol Inhaler: Nicotrol inhaler is a special type of cigarette shaped device, in which you have to puff it so that the device delivers the vapor of nicotine in your mouth. While the nicotine absorbs through your mouth linings, it enters the bloodstream.

Non-nicotine Medications: Medications, which do not have nicotine and categorized under prescribed medications include the following-

Nortriptyline Medication: This is a type of tricyclic antidepressant, which performs functions by enhancing the levels of norepinephrine neurotransmitters found in the brain.

Bupropion Medication: Bupropion is a type of antidepressant drug, which increases the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine i.e. the brain chemicals boosted via nicotine.

Varenicline: Varenicline medication performs its functions on the nicotine receptors of the brain. In this way, it reduces withdrawal symptoms and pleasure feelings you obtain from cigarette smoking. (3)


To conclude, you will have many ways to control or avoid your nicotine dependence.

  1. https://www.swedish.org/classes-and-resources/smoking-cessation/nicotine-dependence-how-it-happens
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181299.php
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nicotine-dependence/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351590

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 14, 2019

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