Why is Tobacco Addictive?

27th May 2022

It is no secret that smoking tobacco based products such as cigarettes and cigars are highly addictive. But why is tobacco addictive, and is it actually the tobacco in these products that is the addictive element. In this article, we will provide you with all of the information you need about the addictive qualities of tobacco, giving you tips on how to quit smoking.

Many people will find quitting smoking to be incredibly difficult. This is because the actual chemicals that they are letting into their bodies are highly addictive, and can cause withdrawal symptoms if smokers stop taking them. As mentioned, there are many different forms of tobacco products, but the most common is, of course, the cigarette. Cigarettes are incredibly addictive, but there are proven methods that you can use in order to kick the habit. 

How can you give up smoking?

Giving up smoking is known to be one of the hardest addictions to get over. However, the number of people that are successfully putting the cigarettes down has never been higher. This is due to a number of factors. One of which is the growing knowledge of the dangers that smoking presents. Around 70% of all lung cancer cases in the United Kingdom can be directly attributed to smoking, with around 20,000 deaths every year being linked to illnesses derived from smoking. 

Now more so than ever people are wanting to quit smoking, but how can you give up smoking if it is so addictive? Thankfully, there are tried and tested methods that will allow people wanting to give up a much easier road to travel. There are many products that you can buy that will aid with quitting smoking, these range from sprays to tablets, and even chewing gum. Products containing Nicotine work in a similar way, they look to give the body what it is craving from the cigarettes.

Nicotine is a chemical that is found in cigarettes and other products that is addictive. When you take nicotine into your system it will reach your brain in a matter of moments, releasing neurotransmitters that regulate your mood and general behaviour. It is widely accepted that tobacco itself is not addictive, and it is instead nicotine that you become addicted to through smoking. 

By using products that give your body the nicotine it needs, you will find quitting smoking much easier. Some people, however, can simply go completely cold turkey, meaning they stop smoking and stop taking any nicotine based products completely without any weaning off period. Whilst this works for some, others may not be able to do it as simply as this. Often, people who have not been smoking for very long will find it easier to go cold turkey.

Other methods that are commonly used to help quit smoking include hypnotherapy, in which a qualified hypnotherapist will use techniques to make a smoker no longer feel the need to smoke. Another method that is becoming a more common practice in recent years is vaping. Vaping is a way for smokers to get their nicotine boost, without inhaling any of the harmful chemicals you intake whilst smoking tobacco.

 

Where does tobacco come from?

Tobacco leaves are found on plants of the Nicotiana genus, a family of plants that are most commonly found in areas of North and South America. The history of tobacco being smoked goes back thousands of years, with the first ever historically recorded case of smoking being from around the first century BC. The Maya people, an ancient civilisation from Central America, would smoke or burn tobacco during religious ceremonies, burials, and sacrifices. 

Today, tobacco is grown and sold in countries all over the world and is no longer only found in the Americas. The largest tobacco producing country in the world today is China, which is responsible for growing around 2.6million tonnes of tobacco each year. This is more than  1.5million tonnes more than the country that produces the second largest amount, India, which grows around 800,000 tonnes per year. 

Is tobacco a drug?

Whilst it may be easy to class addictive substances as a drug, this is not completely true. The official definition of a drug is: “A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” As previously mentioned, tobacco itself is a plant that is ingested via smoking. This means that it is not actually a drug. The chemicals inside tobacco, such as nicotine, are however classed as drugs. Nicotine has a physiological effect when ingested through smoking, which would classify it, by definition, as a drug. 

How is tobacco made?

Tobacco is a plant that is grown all over the world. But what process does tobacco have to take in order to become usable by humans? The process of creating a single cigarette is actually rather complex. The process begins by the manufacturer choosing the blend of tobacco leaves to use. As there are many different types of tobacco leaf, there are also many different blends.

When the blend is selected the leaves are blended together. Other ingredients are added to the cigarette. These can include all manner of different things depending on what company is manufacturing the cigarette, but the ingredients are generally used to keep the moisture of the tobacco leaf. The mixture of ingredients is then inserted into a piece of cigarette paper using a rod. This is tightly sealed and a filter is placed at one end. 

Why is chewing tobacco addictive?

Another way people can consume tobacco is by chewing it. Chewing tobacco has been used for hundreds of years, and is perhaps most popular in southern states of America. Chewing tobacco is made up of roughly cut tobacco leaves that are often flavoured. They are then put into the cheek, behind the gum, or under the lip of the person ‘chewing’. This releases the nicotine into the mouth. Chewing tobacco is just as addictive as smoking as the user is still getting the nicotine kick. 

Quitting smoking does not need to be as difficult as it may first seem, shop online with UK Meds to find the perfect product to help you kick cigarettes to the curb.