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Individual differences |
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Biological: Behavioural genetics · Evolutionary psychology · Neuroanatomy · Neurochemistry · Neuroendocrinology · Neuroscience · Psychoneuroimmunology · Physiological Psychology · Psychopharmacology (Index, Outline)
Nicotine withdrawal is problematic because of the addictive nature of nicotine. This form of drug withdrawal is associated with smoking cessation. Giving up smokeless tobacco as well as tobacco smoking can acuse the the symptoms of withdrawal.
These are symptoms a person who is nicotine dependent experiences when they suddenly stop or significantly reduce their nicotine intake OR when they have not had more nicotine introduced into their system in the normal amount of time their body has grown accustomed to, and are thus physiologically "craving" the drug, nicotine. Since smoking cigarettes is the most popular form of nicotine use, the effects of nicotine withdrawal are commonly observed in people who are in the process of quitting smoking however they are also commonly observed in persons addicted to nicotine who have not had more nicotine introduced into their system in the normal amount of time their body has grown accustomed to through their regular use of the drug nicotine. Both quitting and simply lack of recent use constitute withdrawal, which typically causes irritability, craving cigarettes and suffering from intense headaches, etc. Persons who have smoked more than a few cigarettes per day and/ or have used tobacco for more than a few weeks consecutively are likely to experience these symptoms. Although almost all people who try to ‘kick the habit’ suffer some form of withdrawal symptoms from the drug, it is not commonly recognized that regular nicotine users experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms on a daily basis, between "smoke breaks," while in the movie theater, etc.
The most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are impaired concentration, irritability, tension, disturbed sleep or drowsiness, craving for a cigarette/nicotine, headaches, and an increased appetite leading to weight gain. Sometimes people can experience nicotine withdrawal when cutting down to light cigarettes or cutting down the number smoked. When regular smokers quit they often have strong cravings when they are placed in a situations where they are used to smoking e.g. first thing in the morning or on their mid morning coffee break.
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