How Addictive Is Nicotine?

How Addictive Is Nicotine?Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Although nicotine and tobacco use is legal, dependence and addiction are common. Use comes with potentially severe health consequences. Continuing to use a substance despite experiencing negative effects associated with use is one of the clearest signs of addiction.

Who Uses Nicotine?

Anyone can become addicted to nicotine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, “Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States” (“Smoking Cessation Fact Sheet”). Although use rates vary between genders and ethnicities, no group is immune to addiction and the long-term and short-term effects of nicotine use. The CDC shares that in 2009 over 20 percent of adults were regular smokers despite widespread knowledge about the effects of smoking on health. Smoking is the primary cause of preventable deaths in the United States, as over 69 chemicals found in cigarettes are carcinogenic.

Nicotine Addiction Development and Treatment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that “nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.” This means that use quickly leads to dependence and addiction and that ending nicotine use involves more than making a decision to no longer use. Nicotine is physically addictive, and, as with other addictive substances, use leads to psychological addiction as well. Smoking is often associated with certain times of day, social situations, or locations. This means quitting use typically requires therapy in addition to other cessation aids. Quitting cold turkey or simply taking a pill or using a patch can lead to short-term abstinence, but long-term recovery comes from addressing all of the physical and psychological elements of addiction.

Finding Addiction Treatment

If you use nicotine or other addictive drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, or alcohol, and are ready to quit, call our toll-free helpline. We will help you take the first steps toward ending dependence and addiction by connecting you to the recovery resources best prepared to treat your unique situation. If you are concerned about a loved one’s drug use, we can arrange family mediation or intervention. Our admissions coordinators are here 24 hours a day, and they will be with you through every step of your recovery. Call today to get started on your journey to wellness.