Some new findings on Nicotine Addiction

Maria (Green)
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 20:39

09 Dec 2002, 21:47 #31

Hi Joel, Thanks for that useful info. I came here this morning because I have been feeling so low the last couple of days (I'm on day 14 nicotine free). I was telling someone the other day that I don't know how to be happy without my nicotine. It's as though I forgot HOW to be happy. After reading the Trib article, I can see why I said that. I have had some positive experiences since I quit - but my lows seems so much lower now that I'm not using that nasty drug. The article helped me to keep things in perspective, and realize that THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY! I'll continue taking it one day at a time, and remember cigarettes for what they are - a highly addictive drug delivery system! Thanks again!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Dec 2002, 21:57 #32

Here Marie, be sure to read this one too:
Emotional Loss Experienced from Quitting Smoking
Last edited by Joel on 10 Jul 2009, 16:46, edited 1 time in total.

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

23 Dec 2002, 12:10 #33

Imagefor Jill.....not sure if this is the one you wanted, but there are links to other threads about dopomine levels in here.


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:05

03 Feb 2003, 23:01 #34

Wow, Joel, I knew I was addicted, but never realized how powerful a drug nicotine is. Thanks for sharing this article. It just reinforces why I never want to take another puff, who wants to go through the pain of withdrawal ever again!

I also think this article points out some other things that you've taught us. For instance, how other problems "suddenly" appear when we quit smoking. Most have been covered up with all that dopamine all the years we smoked. I'm not a big proponent of main stream medicine, but I must say that there are plenty of medications and other therepies available now to help overcome the "new" issues once the nicotine is out of the system.

As always, thank you for the education!

ComicForces GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

07 Mar 2003, 22:42 #35

I find that article to be SO interesting (and thanks for the further clarification e-mails, Joel).

This is one of the best threads I have read so far (and believe me, I'm reading and reading and reading). What struck me was this - I found that in my later smoking days - maybe about 6 or so months before my quit, every time something happened that made me happy or excited, I'd REALLY crave that smoke. You always hear how people "need a cigarette" when they are stressed or angry or need to calm down...But one of my biggest needs (besides after eating) was when I was HAPPY.

I wonder if I was trying to more fully experience happiness because the nicotine addiction was minimizing my natural high?

Wow, very interesting. Thanks so much for all of this insight!!

ComicForces - 2 weeks TODAY!!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2003, 06:34 #36

I thought the article below would be good to attach here. too. You will see that the science of nicotine manipulation has been around for a long time. The one way for you to stop having to manipulate nicotine forever is to stick to the commitment you made when you joined Freedom to never take another puff!


Expert: Ammonia added to cigarettesImage Testimony continues in Minnesota's lawsuit against tobaccoFebruary 4, 1998
Web posted at: 10:24 p.m. EST (0324 GMT)
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- Tobacco companies began adding ammonia compounds to cigarettes in the 1960s to boost the effect of nicotine on smokers, according to an expert witness in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry.

Pointing to internal company documents, Channing Robertson, testifying on behalf of the state Wednesday, said that in 1965, scientists at R.J. Reynolds, trying to find out why their Winston brand was losing ground to Philip Morris' Marlboro brand, discovered that Marlboro contained ammonia compounds.

Robertson, a Stanford University professor of chemical engineering, said ammonia increases the nicotine potency of cigarettes by increasing the amount of nicotine contained in the vapor smokers inhale.

In the 1970s, Reynolds started adding ammonia and "slowly but surely, everyone fell in line," he said.

By 1989, documents showed that tobacco companies were using more than 10 million pounds of ammonia compounds each year, Robertson said.

And adding ammonia wasn't the only strategy tobacco companies used, according to Robertson.

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. developed a genetically altered strain of tobacco with twice the nicotine content and used it in cigarettes sold in the United States, Robertson testified.

An undated Brown & Williamson internal document described a "Y-1" tobacco strain with a nicotine content of 6.5 percent by weight.

"Through genetic engineering they were able to develop a tobacco strain with twice as much nicotine as it might otherwise have," Robertson said.

"I am aware that the Y-1 product was contained in cigarettes sold in the United States," Robertson said.

The existence and sale of the high-nicotine Y-1 tobacco has been reported before. A California biotechnology company pleaded guilty in January to conspiring with Brown & Williamson to grow and improve the high-nicotine tobacco abroad from 1983 to 1994, when the export of U.S.-developed seeds without a permit was illegal.

But Robertson's testimony allowed the state to put the information before the jury. Among several allegations, the state accuses tobacco companies of manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes and conspiring to mislead consumers about the dangers of smoking.

One industry memo showed how tiny ventilation holes were drilled in the sides of filters on low-tar cigarettes. That increased the pH of the tobacco smoke, which also tends to increase the potency of nicotine, Robertson said.

Along the same lines, companies also lowered the sugar levels in tobacco, to increase alkalinity and therefore the amount of nicotine available to smokers in cigarette vapor.

The state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield have sued the tobacco industry to recover the costs of providing health care to smokers.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 01:47

31 Jul 2003, 13:36 #37

I have been going through a rough spot for the past few days and this article helps to shed some light. I am at the point in my quit (23 days) where I am proud of myself (and somewhat incredulous) for getting to this point, but I am still afraid that I'll fail. I am scared to death to fail because I know that if I do fail it will mean my life. I read every day and have learned so much but I know that I still haven't reached the point of acceptance yet. I keep telling myself I have to retrain the brain and I am finding that easier said than done. At this point, I almost feel like I have a split personality - there's the side of me that is thrilled and proud of my quit and that already sees positive results from not smoking, and then there's the side that still misses smoking (I know, I know). If nothing else, it certainly reinforces for me just how addictive nicotine is. I won't smoke today. I'll keep telling myself that everyday until my brain can catch up with my heart. Thanks for being here. Elaine

Joined: 10 Jan 2009, 00:06

31 Jul 2003, 23:34 #38

This article makes so much sence to me for some reason. Thank-you for sharing. I will have to show it to my 20 year old son who smokes and is thinking about quitting.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Oct 2003, 05:57 #39

I brought this one up earlier today for one member asking about the pharmacology of nicotine action. The commentary that I wrote the day this article was released talks a little bit more about the psychology of smoking that goes along with the findings of this report. This commentary also addresses another issue which was raised today as to how a person should handle a significant other who smokes.
From: Joel. Sent: 3/14/2002 8:03 AM
I remember in my early days of learning about other drug addictions, it became very obvious to me why crack cocaine was so addictive and why cocaine addicts would go through such great lengths and seemingly sacrifice everything in order to get the drug. It was capable of releasing so much dopamine that it was depleting the body's normal supply. Then when a person would do anything that would normally bring pleasure--with the minimal amount of dopamine left, normal activities that used to bring about pleasure seemed to become empty or meaningless. This is why people using cocaine found themselves losing interest in other things that should have been important--in a real sense--they were losing their ability to get pleasure out of pleasurable things.

It seems that this parallels to a degree what happens to smokers. Not only is nicotine releasing the same neurotransmitter, but it is impairing the mechanism to shut down the action of dopamine. Again, the end result is things that should be pleasurable will become a bit diminished by this chronic action.

The cost of such chronic pleasure is the minimizing of real life. That is what the real toll of smoking is--and the real benefit of quitting. Once again you can feel good from accomplishments. I think that is why people take greater pride in things after they quit.

I always joke with spouses who call me up saying they don't know what they can do to make their husband or wife quit smoking. They often ask me if they should threaten to leave the spouse if he or she doesn't quit. I always warn them to be careful when making such a threat. Giving a smoker a choice between take me or your cigarettes, you'd be surprised at how often "me" is going to be left behind.

Again, here you can see why. The normal pleasures brought about by a relationship are minimized if dopamine is in fact impaired--the smoker is in a sense incapable of feeling as good from a relationship or any other activity.

But the smoker needs to understand that to ever be able to fully appreciate life itself, they need to stop taking drugs that interfere with normal life pleasures. The answer is not to find a drug that works better. As this article so eloquently points out at the end, "It would be hard to design a drug that acts on the reward center that would be more effective than nicotine."I suspect it could be done though--but the end result would just be another drug that is robbing the user of the ability to feel pleasure from pleasurable things. This in itself is robbing the user of the ability of a quality life.

Yes nicotine being delivered in a cigarette form is addictive and deadly. But even without the other chemicals additional health consequences--nicotine itself is robbing the individual of really experiences little life's pleasures--and this is a travesty in itself. Again, the solution is not another drug that is even better--the solution is to let your body get back to normal and never be thrown so off track again by knowing to never take another puff!



Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Feb 2004, 09:09 #40

Nicotine Increases Alcohol Craving
Smoking Tobacco Linked to Alcohol Relapse
[/size]People who smoke and try to quit drinking have a more difficult time not relapsing, because new scientific evidence indicates that nicotine may actually cause a craving for alcohol. If you combine this factor with another new study which indicates that nicotine addiction may be as powerful as an addiction to heroin, smokers who want to stop drinking face an extremely difficult battle indeed.

Although many treatment programs and self-help support groups recommend addressing "one addiction at a time," treatment approaches that insist that clients give up all addictive substances simultaneously may be more effective, according to these new studies.

Alcohol-Nicotine RelationshipLed by Toronto's Dr. Dzung Anh Le, a study on rats by Canadian and U.S. scientists has found that nicotine use increases alcohol consumption, and the two addictions may work hand in hand.

The research relevant to humans who drink both excessively and moderately, said Dr. Le. It suggests that to quit drinking, a person might also have to give up smoking as well. "It has a lot of implications for treatment strategy," said Dr. Le, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "What we knew before is alcohol and tobacco are extensively co-abused. We wanted to find a biological basis for this co-dependency."

Dr. Ted Boadway of the Ontario Medical Association said although treating dual addictions is already a cornerstone of many therapies, anti-smoking strategies do not always emphasize curbing alcohol intake. Guidelines on stop-smoking approaches usually do not consider the effect alcohol may have on smokers. The study appears in the U.S. journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The ResearchIt is nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes, which leads to an increase in alcohol consumption, said Dr. Le and fellow researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "Of the study's five experiments on rats, three confirmed researchers' suspicions that nicotine and alcohol "can act through the same rewarding system in the brain," said Dr. Le.

Both nicotine and alcohol lead to the release of dopamine, the "feel-good brain chemical," although the mechanism by which this occurs is not completely understood, Dr. Le said. "Repeated exposure to nicotine through smoking can enhance the pleasurable effects of alcohol, and there's probably some biological basis for this," although it's not completely understood.

The remaining two experiments in Dr. Le's study examined nicotinic receptor antagonists in the brain, and whether they could be altered to block the effects of nicotine and alcohol.

Highly AddictiveMeanwhile, the Royal College of Physicians in Britain released a report calling nicotine "a powerful addictive substance on a par with heroin and cocaine" which should be controlled like a drug or medicine. The report said cigarettes are nicotine delivery products and said nicotine addiction should be recognized as a major medical and social problem. "It is time for nicotine to become a major health priority," Sir George Alberti, the president of the college, said.

The tobacco industry disputed the report's findings.

These new reports provide scientific evidence that those who try to quit drinking, but continue to smoke, face a more difficult problem than those who do not smoke, or who quit smoking and drinking simultaneously.

Other CravingsAlso this week, National Institute on Drug Abuse researchers released two studies that found that craving for nicotine appears to be linked to increased craving for illicit drugs among drug abusers who also smoke tobacco. The two studies, said NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner, "add very strong behavioral evidence to other research that suggests common characteristics and interactions between tobacco use and opiate and cocaine use. They also suggest that smoking cessation programs should be offered as part of other drug treatment programs."

In one of the studies, researchers found that the amount of cocaine and heroin use was directly related to the level of tobacco use. "The more cigarettes smoked, the more likely the person was to use illegal drugs," said Dominick Frosch, a doctoral student at San Diego State University.