Some new findings on Nicotine Addiction

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Mar 2002, 23:56 #11

For all of you science buffs out there. The article on the Internet link does not show some accompanying graphics in the actual Tribune that gave a little more detail about the mechanism that is supposed to shut off the dopamine effects. The other neurotransmitter involved is acetylcholine which is supposed to turn off the dopamine rewarding effect. Nicotine seems to block acetylcholine, so the reward mechanism of dopamine is not shut off in the presence of nicotine, making the reward effect last longer than would normally be experienced from a dopamine release initiated by a good behavior.

childofnite GOLD.ffn
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

15 Mar 2002, 01:47 #12

Image Hi Joel!!

Thanks so much for sharing ths article with us - It basically should be no surprise to all of us here at Freedom who have known this all along, but it sure is sweet when scientists - people other than ourselves - can substatiate our claims. Image

This article, and your subsequent post makes its way into my virtual library, to be printed off for those around me still enslaved.

7 Months, 2 Weeks, 3 Days.

wcsdancer (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:29

15 Mar 2002, 02:25 #13

Joel, thank you again for this priceless information. I have often wondered "what are we getting out of smoking?". It doesn't produce an obvious "high" like other addictive drugs. This article answered my question and then poses others:

What happens to our dopamine production when we quit? Do these years of abuse permanently affect us? Is this why some of us experience depression right after quitting? How do we restore normal function to this part of our brain?

Why did the craving for nicotine seem even stronger after a surge in dopamine from natural dopamine producers such as the events mentioned in the article?:

"Experiences such as falling in love, getting a big promotion, coloring between the lines for the first time, seeing your baby's smile and winning the lottery promote some of the biggest dopamine jolts. Eating a good meal, making a new friend, taking a walk on the first morning of spring, working a crossword puzzle and other less intense learning experiences get less of the pleasure chemical"

Understanding this addiction has been the key to beating it. Knowledge is more powerful than dopamine apparently! Or maybe knowledge produces dopamine?!

*Candy* 4months+

Rosemary (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:04

15 Mar 2002, 02:47 #14

I heard a discussion about this on National Public Radio this morning. I was going to post the info I got, but it seems that you have beat me to it.

As I listened this morning, I was even more amazed that I got out from under this addiction. I also felt cheated. I thought of all the times I was unhappily sitting unstill at a non-smoker's house. I wonder if that vauge unease that I got at the thought of visiting some of our friends was simply because they did not let me smoke at their houses. I am sorry that I have spent 23 years of my life using a drug just to experience normal feelings of contentment and happiness.

I am remembering my family's trip to Disney World (Orlando) last February . I am sad and ironically amused at how I had to plan our path around the park so that I could stop at the smoking stations along the way. And I sat alone (while everyone else was on rides) inhaling my drug, because I could not have a good time without it. On that trip, I first realized that I could no longer enjoy myself without smoking, but I was not enjoying myself while I was smoking either. I resolved to quit.

It has taken me almost a whole year, and a few uneducated tries, but here I am, educated, and finally nicotine free! The information that I got from this site has been the little nudge that has put me over top of this quit. My thanks to all who contribute.

Rosemary--smoke-free for 1 Month 3 Days 13 Hours 14 Minutes. Cigarettes not smoked: 631. Money saved: $157.76.

Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:06

15 Mar 2002, 03:17 #15

Rosemary, I can really relate to that. I remember so many situations where I would be and my mind was really on getting out of there to have a cig. I would be at my inlaws, and I couldn't wait to get outside for a smoke...or shopping at the mall, and dying for a smoke.....or just anything! It was I can actually go and enjoy myself in whatever it is and not be waiting for that moment to have my drug! What a waste of time and oh how many precious moments I missed with my kids because my mind was on getting outside for my smoke. Thank goodness they are only 8, 7, and 5 and are home/homeschooled...I plan to make up for those lost moments standing on the front porch smoking instead of sitting down paying attention to what they were saying! thanks again for your email Rosemary! Blessings, Terri~

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Mar 2002, 03:28 #16

Candy those are all wonderful questions and I'll bet that together, as a group, that we've got at Imageleast a dozen more good ones to go with your list. I hope I live long enough to see science answer most of them. All we can promise is that if there's ever breaking news on nicotine addiction that it will be a topic of discussion at Freedom! As we've seen today, like some 15th century explorer, they're still mapping nicotine's flow through the brain! It's easy to see why they call the human mind the "Last Frontier!" Knowledge is power! Feel the rush when you take pride in your quit! That was no drug, it was you!

mirigirl (silver)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

15 Mar 2002, 04:38 #17

Oh my God - of course, yes, yes - thank you Joel, thank you Freedom.... I'm Free
yqs mirigirl
2m1w Free

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

15 Mar 2002, 05:30 #18

Hello Candy:

I don't think science has the answers to some of your questions yet. But people here at Freedom and people you know in your real world settings can shed some great insights for you. First, I suspect most things do return to normal. I just brought up the post I feel 100% Better Since I Quit! If dopamine actions were permanently messed up in ex-smokers, I don't think you would hear many people express this sentiment. Sure they might breath better, but most people who express this statement are talking more than just breathing.

Most people find out that within a few weeks of quitting smoking, they are calmer than they ever were when actually smoking--or at least back to their baseline. Most claim they have more energy, and many people who I have had in clinics who were found that there overall concentration improved. When these people are students, they often subsequently find their grades and study patterns improving too.

Some of them attribute this effect to being able to concentrate at the tail end of classes more so than they could while smoking--basically being in withdrawal and focused on getting out of class as fast as they could as opposed to be focusing on the subject matter. Again, if dopamine were permanently messed up I don't think you would see these kind of performance enhancements.

In the first few days of quitting things are a bit out of whack for people. But shortly things do fall in place. One other thing I should point out--dopamine does not answer the whole story when it comes to nicotine addiction. Keep in mind, most other drugs also elevate dopamine. But the addiction to nicotine is very specifically an addiction to nicotine. By that I mean they only way a person is going to relapse to nicotine is by readministering nicotine.

Taking another drug that elevates dopamine does not cause nicotine withdrawals or a nicotine relapse. Accomplishing a great feat and releasing dopamine naturally does not cause the person to go through a full three days of nicotine withdrawal. It may trigger the thought for a cigarette--but that is likely much more from the association that they used to smoke when they felt this level of excitement. Or, as in the case of the new findings here, if they hold up to further testing, they may have smoked to celebrate not so much to just pour in more dopamine, but rather to inactivate acetylcholine making the thrill of the accomplishment last longer.

Again, listen to ex-smokers and listen to your own bodies. You will likely hear the obvious--that you feel better, are healthier and will probably live longer and have a better quality of overall life as long as you always remember to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

15 Mar 2002, 06:12 #19

Wow. Again.

murphying (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Mar 2002, 06:21 #20

What a marvellous explanatory article Joel! I have to admit that I was never aware of getting a 'high' from any of the 50plus cigarettes a day I smoked - feel kinda cheated there lol.
Thanks for the education Image