Smoking addiction

Smoking creates sensations that quickly lead the smoker towards addiction. This dependency can happen very fast, in a few weeks, and even much less for certain persons.

 
Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
The cigarette is source of pleasure and the smokers cannot give it up easily. There are indeed two kinds of smoking addiction:
 
  • The physical addiction
The nicotine is a powerful drug inducing strong effects on the brain (psychotropic substance).
Every regular smoker gets gradually used to a certain quantity of nicotine in the body. Below this dose of nicotine concentration in the blood, different from one person to the other, the effects of lack appear (ill-being, irritability, anxiety, insomnias, etc.) and the need of smoking becomes uncontrollable. This case is that of the pharmacological or chemical dependency.
 
  • Gestural and psychological addiction
The ritual of smoking becomes a habit which is unconsciously associated, in the course of the months and years, with positive situations of life (success, pleasant events, meetings between friends, fine meal, etc.) and/or denials situations (stress, contrariety, negative feelings, anxiety, loneliness, ennui, etc.).
Beyond the nicotine addiction, the rite of the cigarette becomes a habit which is not easy to loose.
Thus the sensations of satisfaction given by smoking produce and maintain this addiction, also called “behavioral addiction”.
This addiction can be put under control only by one’s own will.
Hence, it seems fundamental to recognize and determine the situations leading us to have recourse to tobacco so as we can manage our reactions during the period of coming off.
 
  • How can you check your physical addiction to nicotine?
Fagerström Test, approved by the experts’ international corpus, can help you out to review your physical dependency in six questions about the quantity of cigarettes that you smoke, the time lapse between the awakening and the first cigarette, the difficulty you have to abstain smoking when you are sick or in non-smokers areas…
 

Test your tobacco addiction:

  1. Test of Horn
  2. ALSC - Lagrue and Légeron Test
  3. ALSC – Fagerstrom Test
 
What are the typical signs showing tobacco lack?
The syndrome of lack appears under various and very characteristic forms that do not show up necessarily at the same time and are often separated by periods of time. The most frequent withdrawal symptoms affecting the smokers are:
 
• Strong drives to smoke;
• Irritability, nervousness, excitement, anxiety;
• Sleeping disturbances;
• Depressive humor;
• Concentration trouble, increasing appetite, constipation;
 
All these disorders are the major causes of the difficulties and of the little failures on the short term; they are in direct link with the lack of nicotine and can be significantly reduced by an adapted care.
 
Many people try to reduce the daily quantity of cigarettes, which is not a solution at all, because the studies showed that, instinctively, the smoker will somehow or other be consuming his usual dose of nicotine anyway.
By decreasing the number of cigarettes he is used to smoke every day, the smoker will tend to breathe deeper drags, to inhale more profoundly and to leave a smaller butt. The same happens if the smoker switches to light cigarettes or to less nicotine content. Therefore, as hard as it can be, better face the problem rather than burry one’s head in the sand…