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Nicotine Anonymous

July 19, 2013

Nicotine addiction is common. In some parts of the world, smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco is widely accepted. Other places require smokers to stand 15 feet away from public doorways. Whether nicotine is permissible or despised, there are two truths most everyone acknowledges: nicotine is highly addictive and deadly.


There are numerous “quit smoking” techniques. From cold turkey to pharmaceuticals, some individuals try countless approaching to free themselves of nicotine addiction. Unfortunately, anyone who considers him or herself addicted to nicotine knows how easy it is to relapse.

Nevertheless, there is little talk about 12 step nicotine support groups, even though these meetings have excellent success rates. Before discussing the helpful NA community, it is important to grasp exactly why nicotine is so additive, and in effect, so dangerous.

Why is Nicotine so Addictive?

In understanding nicotine addiction, it is possible to gain knowledge about addiction at large. Addiction exists because the brain gets confused about what physical needs it is communicating to the body.

Like other drugs, nicotine disrupts the brain’s dopamine pathways. Dopamine pathways are the neurotransmitters responsible for controlling sensations and triggering body responses. For example, dopamine pathways alert a person of hunger as well as the urge to eat. They also let the body know when it has thirst or when it is time to accomplish a routine task.

Nicotine disrupts the natural cycle of dopamine. When affected by nicotine, the brain becomes confused and registers wrongful messages, urges, and demands. Instead of letting the body know it is hungry and requires food, the brain sends cues that the body craves nicotine and that the individual ought to get tobacco into his or her system right away.

If the person gives into these urges then he or she feels a sense of satisfaction for a moment. However, this is false satisfaction. The body is being filled with substances it wants to reject and lacks true nourishment it needs.

Feeding the body nicotine can easily make the brain depend on this unfamiliar substance. Once this occurs, it is hard to reset the natural cycle of dopamine and impossible for the brain to forget nicotine’s sensation.

About NA- Nicotine Anonymous

Nicotine Anonymous welcomes anyone who is struggling with tobacco use and wishes to be free of nicotine. There is an emphasis on group support and recovery within NA. After all,  a common trigger for relapse is other smokers or tobacco users.

NA helps people understand addiction. Meetings are available throughout Canada. Doing research on how to quit smoking may be a good first step in conquering this addiction. Consider starting the process of recovery by visiting the official NA website:

Every day, smokers and tobacco users acknowledge the fact that they cannot or do not want to quit nicotine, but are, nevertheless, addicted. asks why let another day get in the way of “improving your mental and physical health and the prospect of a significant increase in life expectancy?”

Tobacco use has consequences but free support is readily available. It can be found by attending NA meetings.

Image made available by …-Wink-… on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

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