How Nicotine Addiction Works
So you’ve learned a few things about Re-learning Habit. And you’ve made it through the first part of re-learning life without cigarettes — how to deal with all of the habits you connect with lighting up. But smoking is more than just a series of “bad habits." It's a physical addiction.
So let’s talk about re-learning what you know about addiction. Few people realize how the nicotine in cigarettes actually changes their brain. Dr. Richard Hurt from Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center is a leading expert in the field of smoking cessation. In the videos below, Dr. Hurt explains the physical nature of addiction to cigarettes and just how powerful it can be. He’ll also tell you how medication can DOUBLE your chances of quitting smoking and help you pick the right one for you. Lots of people say they don’t want to use medication to quit smoking, because they think it’s something they should do on their own with just their willpower. Or they’ve tried a medication before and don’t think it worked. If you’re one of those people, all we can say is trust us on this. Just hear what Dr. Hurt has to say and then make up your mind.
Video: Nicotine and Your Brain
Most smokers have no idea why it is so tough to stop smoking. And that’s because no one’s ever explained to them how nicotine addiction really works. In this video, you’ll get a chance to see what a bear it can be. (Click here for a downloadable two-pager on what withdrawal symptoms are and what to expect.) The good news is, there’s help. Once you understand how nicotine addiction works on the brain, you’ll see why medication is so important. It can double your chances of quitting smoking. In this video, Dr. Hurt explains how addiction works and how to choose the quit smoking medication that’s right for you.
*Food & Drug Administration Warning
The Food & Drug Administration has warned that both bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) have been associated with serious adverse effects, including hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions. The risks that are known to be associated with smoking must be balanced against the small, but real risk of these serious adverse effects. People who are taking either bupropion or varenicline and experience any serious and unusual changes in mood or behavior or who feel like hurting themselves or someone else should stop taking the medicine and call their healthcare professional right away. Bupropion, varenicline and nicotine replacement medications are also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding without consulting their doctor. Ask your doctor if one of these medications is right for you. As always, read and follow label directions. Also keep in mind that new medications are being developed all the time to help people stop smoking. Ask your doctor if anything new is available.
Can't see the video? Don't stress! Dr. Hurt videos are available to view on the desktop site.