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About Nicotine Addiction

Smoking is more than a habit for many smokers. It's a nicotine addiction.

When you smoke, nicotine reaches the brain in about 10 to 20 seconds. This causes a chemical called dopamine to be released in the brain. Dopamine provides a feeling of pleasure.

Over time, smoking may become more than just a habit. It can become an addiction. And as with most addictions, when you take away the thing that you're addicted to, you may experience physical withdrawal symptoms. When you quit smoking, it's no different. You take away the nicotine, and that may cause your body to go through nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Common signs of nicotine withdrawal

The symptoms are different for everyone, but here's what to look for:

  • Urge to smoke
  • Depressed mood
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability, frustration, or anger
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Increased appetite or weight gain

No matter how tough nicotine withdrawal symptoms may seem at first, they can lessen over time. If you experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be able to help you.

Next: Potential Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking