Based on the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), over 16 million Filipinos use tobacco products. In this survey, nearly 91% of smokers and non-smokers believe that it is addictive while 95% believe it causes serious illness. Tobacco products are addictive due to their high nicotine content. Look out for the signs of nicotine addiction and withdrawal.
Causes of nicotine addiction
Contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not directly responsible for cancer or lung disease. Tobacco products contain many toxic ingredients and carcinogens that cause illnesses. However, the problem with nicotine is how addictive is is.
Nicotine is a psychoactive substance contained in tobacco and other plants. When nicotine enters the body, it binds to receptors in the brain and nerves. Binding to these receptors releases dopamine and other neurotransmitters, which gives a feeling of pleasure and relief. However, this manipulation of the pleasure system of the brain contributes to dependency and addiction.
As someone continues to use nicotine, the mind and body will begin wanting more. The same amount each time may not be enough and if they try to stop suddenly. This is how tolerance and withdrawal symptoms evolve. Because nicotine is combined with harmful substances, as someone tries to satisfy their cravings, they are also exposing themselves to these toxins.