Nicotine Dependence

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Smoking is an addiction: The science of nicotine dependence

Cigarette nicotine absorption

Nicotene delivered by cigarettes creates dependence

Nicotine reaches the brain within 11 seconds, binding to nicotinic receptors and momentarily satisfying the urge to smoke.1-3

Long-term effects of smoking include an increased number of nicotinic receptors, leading to an increased need for nicotine.4,5

Nicotine receptor sites

Nicotine from smoking cigarettes increases the number of receptor sites in the brain4,5

Nicotine can activate neurotransmitters or chemicals in the body that can influence behavior and mood.1

Nicotine receptor sites

Smoking cessation helps reduce the number of nicotinic receptors in the brain4

In one post-mortem study, 9 smokers who had quit for at least 2 months had similar nicotinic receptor levels as nonsmokers.4

Neurotransmitters and effects

The chemical dependence makes quitting difficult

When nicotine reaches the brain, it binds to nicotinic receptors which release neurotransmitters, like dopamine. Dopamine release is critical to reinforcing effects of nicotine, as it signals a pleasurable experience.1

Difficulty in quitting for patients

Social & environment aspect; Nicotine addiction

Smoking cessation can be difficult for reasons that go beyond physical dependence

Quit smoking success rates & cravings

Quitters typically relapse within the first 3 months of quitting.7

Read more about smoking cessation

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Smoking cessation

Find out more about quitting smoking.

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Benefits of quitting

Find out more about the benefits of quitting smoking.

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E-cigarettes/vaporizers (vapes)

Explore health risks and trends of e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

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Non-prescription management options

Learn more about non-prescription management options for quitting smoking.

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NicoDerm CQ Patch and Nicorette Products

NicoDerm CQ Patch and Nicorette Products

Find out how the NicoDerm CQ Patch and Nicorette products can help your patients.

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My Quit App

Patient care resources

Download resources for your patients.

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