How Nicotine Affects the Body

Apr. 8, 2018
by Matt Wallace

nicotine effects

When someone takes in nicotine, whether it be through cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or inhaling nicotine vapor from e-cigarettes, they often will feel the immediate side effects from it. Some of the immediate effects that are felt include calmness and relaxation, pleasurable sensations, euphoric feelings, and they may even feel more focused and energized. These feeling are generally called the nicotine buzz. Nicotine doesn’t just affect you physically, it affects you psychologically too, which is why people get addicted to the buzz. People who have not smoked before will typically feel it the hardest, although people who quit and then start back up again will also feel it harder than before.


There are long term effects that are caused by nicotine in addition to the immediate buzz you get from it. Nicotine can raise your blood pressure and your heart rate, it dulls your senses, it decreases your appetite, and it can drop the temperature of your skin. Some people may like the fact that they are eating less, but the other effects can be harmful to your body if it is done in excess over a long period of time. Nicotine addiction can become so strong that it dictates your day. People who smoke heavily will often think of nicotine before anything else in the morning. When they can get their next hit will often be the most prominent thought on their mind, although they may not realize it. People will often use it as a way to cope with stress as well, which make people even more dependent on it. This addiction makes it so that a person does not care what the negative effects are, they only care about the next fix.

 

Nicotine affects the brain almost immediately after it has been taken in. When it reaches your brain, the nicotine attaches to the acetylcholine receptors. These receptors are what control the bodies dopamine levels. The nicotine then triggers the release of more dopamine which causes the immediate effects of the nicotine buzz. Another chemical that nicotine causes your body to release is serotonin, which causes the feeling of pleasure. As soon as these levels drop back to normal, however, the body also drops down. This makes you feel tired and lacking energy, so your body desires the buzz again—thus begins the cycle of addiction.

 

There are natural ways to beat the craving of nicotine that your body is trying to get. Instead of giving in to the addiction, there are ways to replace a bad habit with a good one. For example, when you get stressed, instead of turning to nicotine you can perform breathing exercises and drink water. Doing this will not only help you stop addiction, it can also keep your body healthy and hydrated. You can also get natural chemical release from exercise so that you do not turn to nicotine to get your energy. This will also keep your cardiovascular health better.

 

Nicotine may make you feel good for a short amount of time, but it is important to be aware of how it affects your body and mind. There can be harmful side effects from the nicotine itself, but if you’re getting it from cigarettes or chewing tobacco there can be other harmful repercussions like cancer and respiratory issues. If you are not careful, it can take over your everyday life and it can even get to the point where it dictates all of your decisions. Don’t let a drug make your choices for you. Instead, make informed decisions, and know when you want something versus when you are being influenced by nicotine.

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