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The South African Anti Drug Team




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Nicotine: (See also 'stop smoking')


If not that serious send me an confidential e-mail: info@thesouthafricanantidrugteam.org.za


Nicotine in whatever form is a very strong drug. It leads to other addictions very easy.


Although many people smoke because they believe cigarettes calm their nerves, smoking releases epinephrine, a hormone which creates physiological stress in the smoker, rather than relaxation.


Once inhaled, the nicotine produces a warm feeling of well being: the nicotine “rush”. This is almost immediate, but is very short lived. Most users develop tolerance for nicotine and need greater amounts to produce the desired effect.


Risks associated with smoking cigarettes include diminished or extinguished sense of smell and taste, frequent colds, smoker’s cough, gastric ulcers, chronic bronchitis, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, premature and more abundant face wrinkles, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, cervix, uterus, and bladder.


Smoking is particularly dangerous for teens because their bodies are still developing and changing and the 4,000 chemical - including 200 known poisons in cigarette smoke can adversely affect this process.


Most importantly smoking cigarettes is highly addictive. As most smokers will testify, the habit of smoking creeps up on you quickly without you realising it. Giving up smoking takes considerable will power, but can be done. Withdrawal symptom include changes in body temperature, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and appetite.


Psychological symptoms include irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nervousness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and cravings for tobacco that can last days, weeks, months or even years. However, the cravings do fade with time.


NB:  Common signs of a smoker:

 1.   They do not have strong willpower.

 2.   They do not have a stable character.  

 3.   They develop asthma or lung problems.

 4.   They do not want to accept that they need help..