Nicotine disadvantages an addictive substance and is the main reason that makes people feel hard to quit smoking. So what is nicotine, its harmful effects on your health and how long does nicotine stay in your system? Let’s find out with us.
Nicotine definition and nicotine disadvantages
Nicotine is a chemical compound which can found in cigarettes. It is an addictive substance, similar to heroin or cocaine which is considered highly addictive so most of the smokers find it very hard to smoke.
When you smoke, nicotine is absorbed via the mucous membranes of the tiny air sacs in the lungs or through the mucous membranes of the nose in case of you are inhaled. Moreover, nicotine can be absorbed via the skin.
The amount of nicotine in your blood can rise quickly depending on how you are exposed to it. If you smoke, nicotine takes about ten seconds to reach your brain. The acute effects of nicotine dissipate in some minutes that make you want to smoke again.
How long does nicotine stay in your system and how does it stay?
The nicotine will reach your lungs when you inhale the smoke. Then it is rapidly absorbed into the blood, combining with carbon monoxide and toxins, stay in the body. Interestingly, nicotine will come to the brain faster by inhaling the cigarette smoke than the other exposed methods.
Nicotine has harmful effects on some parts of the body, consist of heart and blood vessels, hormones, brain and metabolism. Otherwise, nicotine can be detected in cervical mucus and in breast milk of female smokers. You should know that during pregnancy, nicotine can pass through causing bad effects to the fetus.
The length of time nicotine stays in your system depends on many factors. In many cases, nicotine (or substances similar nicotine, for example cotinine) will stay in the body for three to four days after stopping smoking. So nicotine will always live with you although you smoke one time in two days.
Why is nicotine so hard to quit?
Nicotine brings a pleasant feeling for smokers that makes they want to smoke again and keep smoking. Nicotine stimulates the brain and the central nervous system and affects the mood of the smoker. It can reach the brain in a few seconds and start to effect on the nervous system in a few minutes. That’s why smokers feel satisfied and very difficult to quit them.
Most of the smokers are aware of its riskiness and desire to quit smoking but not successful. A cigarette contains 1 mg of nicotine, if the amount of nicotine is too high (about 30-60 mg), smokers can die. Gradually, a person will be depended on nicotine in both physical and emotional terms. This emotional and mental dependence (or addiction) makes addicts difficult to stay away from nicotine. Studies have shown that to give up smoking, the smokers have to deal with both physical and mental dependence. One person can die if he still keeps smoking in a long time.
The problem here is that the nicotine tolerance of smokers will increase over time; it means that smokers have to take more nicotine to get the same comfortable feeling. When people stop to smoke, the level of nicotine in the body begins to decrease and disappear. At that time, pleasant feelings also go away and a smoking command is a brain sent to the smoker. If do not smoke, addicts may feel uncomfortable and irritable so they need to smoke more cigarettes and of course, find hard to give up.
Challenges of quitting smoking
When smokers try to give up smoking, they have to face with many difficulties in both physical and mental health. People who addict with smoking in a long time will appear nicotine withdrawal symptoms stronger and earlier than the new addicts. The symptoms usually start appearing in a few hours after you stop smoking and reach their peak in 2 – 3 days when almost nicotine and its toxins are out of the body. They may feel like they have lost a “best friend” so smokers must have a great determination to quit smoking.
Some symptoms can appear when you start to get rid of smoking:
- Craving to smoke
- Dizziness (may last in a few days)
- Feeling of frustration, anger and impatience
- Sleep disorder
- Difficult to concentrate
- Restlessness or boredom
- Weight gain
- Cough, sore throat, dry mouth and dripping nose
- Chest pain
- Slow heartbeat
These difficulties can make smokers feel uncomfortable and start smoking again to increase the level of nicotine in the blood until the symptoms disappear. In fact, 70-90% of smokers said that these symptoms appearing while getting rid of smoking are the main reason they cannot quit smoking. In order to quit smoking successfully, smokers need to be well-prepared in both physical and mental terms.