Within just 7-10 seconds of inhaling cigarette smoke, nicotine affects the “reward center” in your brain by releasing chemicals that give feelings of pleasure and alertness – the “hit” that your body comes to expect. These chemicals are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
The more nicotine the brain gets, the more it wants. However, within 30 minutes your nicotine level drops and withdrawal symptoms begin (feeling tired, jittery, depressed, over-eating, anxiety, moody, etc). You begin to crave another cigarette, and the cycle continues. This cycle, which increases in intensity and frequency over time, is part of what makes cigarettes so addictive.
Gum, Patches, Inhalers & Pills
Why Nicotine Replacements Fail
As long as any nicotine remains in the bloodstream, the body will keep craving it. Cutting down on cigarettes or using nicotine replacements simply throw the smoker into a chronic state of drug withdrawal. As soon as the smoker fails to reach the minimum requirement of nicotine, the body starts demanding it, whether from a cigarette or more nicotine replacements.
A November 2003 study found that as many as 6.7% of nicotine gum “quitters” were still chronic users at six months, three months beyond FDA use guidelines. In other words, they are now “addicted” to the Nicotine Replacement! Experts have compared the use of Nicotine Replacements to quit smoking as to an Alcoholic switching from Rum to Vodka – it doesn’t stop the addiction.