Scientists Find Out Why Smoking is So Addictive

Scientists Find Out Why Smoking is So Addictive

Surely you’ve heard about that person who lights up a cigarette as soon as waking up, without even waiting to get a bite to eat. Tobacco causes an incredible level of addiction as soon as you develop the habit of consuming it. But why is that so?

The funny thing is that most people who smoke regret it sooner or later. Unless you’re an alien looking to colonize the Earth, you have surely found out by now that smoking is bad for a person’s health, as it can lead to heart problems or even lung cancer in the long run. Smokers often find themselves in an apparent impossibility of quitting the habit. Therefore, the “million dollar question” arises: how can smoking be so addictive when the user realizes that it can be very harmful to his health? We may finally have the long-awaited answer.

Blame it on nicotine

The FDA reveals that nicotine has that “special something” to keep people using products based on tobacco even “against their will.”

Bernard Le Foll, from the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry, said to Live Science via email:

Addiction is primarily defined as a loss of control on the use of a substance and continued use despite the consequences.

He also added, as the same source quotes:

Once an addiction to a substance is developed, people will experience cravings and/or withdrawal when not using it for a certain period of time. Tobacco is addictive because it contains nicotine, a psychoactive substance with high addictive potential.

The Mayo Clinic offers a brief and very relevant description for nicotine: it’s the chemical in tobacco that keeps a person smoking. It takes only a few seconds after you take a puff for the nicotine to reach your brain.



Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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