Let’s say it right off the bat – quitting smoking takes more than just willpower. Smoking is a physical addiction. It’s powerful stuff. The nicotine in cigarettes actually changes the chemistry in your brain making quitting that much harder. Start off by watching this video of Ethan, an ex-smoker, who breaks down the hold that nicotine has on your body.
Hopefully, this video will help you learn more about nicotine addiction. After watching, move on to your next step, How Nicotine Addiction Works, where you’ll hear from Mayo Clinic’s resident quit smoking expert, Dr. Richard Hurt, on how to DOUBLE your chances of quitting successfully.See full video transcript
Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco, and it's what makes smokers addicted to cigarettes. In fact, nicotine is just as addictive as many of the hard drugs. When you inhale smoke from a cigarette, nicotine can reach the brain in less than 10 seconds. Once there, nicotine changes the chemistry of the brain over time.
Inhaling a drug is the fastest way to get it to your brain. It's like a lot of nicotine really fast. Right after you put out that cigarette, the nicotine level in your blood starts to drop. After a while, your brain and body send out signals of withdrawal, so you light another one. With addiction, you start to think that smoking's making you feel better when it's really just keeping you from feeling bad.
Relearning the whole idea of addiction can help you understand why using medication is important. It can double your chances of success.