Nicotine is a very addictive substance. We all know that most people do not think they are going to get addicted, but once they start to smoke cigarettes they gradually go from smoking a couple of days, to smoke a couple of packs a day.
Some people seem to be able to smoke just a few cigarettes per day for long periods of time. These individuals often seem capable of doing without a cigarette without getting nervous or irritable. Other people seem to become severely addicted to smoking as soon as they light their first cigarette.
This is because nicotine is more addictive to some people than it is to other people. Some people are less susceptible to the addictive qualities of nicotine so those people are less likely to become hooked, or to have withdrawal symptoms when they decide to stop smoking.
The Study on Nicotine
There were eighteen adults who were not smokers participating in the study. The research team gave a controlled number of participants pills that contain nicotine. The amount of nicotine was bout one tenth the amount the participant would have gotten from smoking an actual cigarette. The participants who got pills that did not contain nicotine were actually taking pills that contained caffeine, sugar, ginseng, or chamomile. The participants had no idea what pill they were taking.
The Goal of the Study
The researchers hoped to discover how small doses of nicotine affected the participants.
Half of the people who were given the pills containing nicotine identified with the characteristics of nicotine addiction in its earliest stages. The other half of the people who were given the nicotine did not seem to have any of the expected nicotine addiction symptoms.
The individuals who were experiencing the signs of beginning nicotine addictions were able to identify that they were taking the nicotine laced pills. People who did not experience the symptoms could not determine if they were taking pills containing nicotine or placebos.
The signs of nicotine addiction
In its early stages nicotine addiction is characterized by:
- Changes in energy levels
- Nervous jitters
What this means
Not everyone that picks up a cigarette is going to become a two pack a day smoker. Some people seem to be able to resist the attraction to the drug.
More research needs to be done so it can be determined what causes one person to be able to resist the effects of nicotine while other people are caught in the drugs addictive trap.
If researchers can pinpoint why some people do not become addicted while others become addicted, then they could develop methods of treatment that could help people to stop their addictions to cigarettes, and possibly to other addictive substances.
Individual strengths and will-power may play less of a part in a person not becoming addicted than was once thought. There may be something in our genetic make-up that decides if we will be easy to addict or not.
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