Smoking is a sexy gesture, you're so attractive with the cigarette in your mouth! Many smokers struggle for many years to quit without any success and if you think you can play with smoking, look what has just found out a new research: 10 % of youth that got hooked, became tobacco addicted within two days from first puffing from a cigarette, and 25 % within a month.
The teenagers who smoke even only a few cigarettes monthly experience withdrawal symptoms when deprived of nicotine, a strong challenge to the popular belief that just people with long smoking habits of at least five cigarettes daily suffer from these sensations.
The research monitored 1,246 sixth-grade Massachusetts students over four years. Subjects were interviewed frequently about smoking and addiction symptoms, like difficulty of quitting, strong urges to smoke, or cravings, characterized by restlessness, irritability, and trouble concentrating. 50 % of those who got addicted were already like that when they were smoking seven cigarettes monthly. In other words, just a few cigarettes can make you addicted!
Recent research has shown that the nicotine amount found in just one cigarette is enough to trigger the nicotine receptors in the human brain neurons. "Laboratory experiments confirm that nicotine alters the structure and function of the brain within a day of the very first dose. In humans, nicotine-induced alterations in the brain can trigger addiction with the first cigarette. Nobody expects to get addicted from smoking one cigarette," said lead researcher Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza, professor of family medicine & community health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
It is estimated that about 6.4 million American children are shortening their adult life as they started to smoke since teenage. "While smoking one cigarette will keep withdrawal symptoms away for less than an hour in long-time smokers, novice smokers find that one cigarette suppresses withdrawal for weeks at a time. One dose of nicotine affects brain function long after the nicotine is gone from the body. The important lesson here is that youth have all the same symptoms of nicotine addiction as adults do, even though they may be smoking only a few cigarettes per month." said DiFranza.
Nicotine addiction was detected even in youth smoking just one cigarette monthly. At the beginning, one cigarette will ease the craving for weeks, but as tolerance to nicotine increases, s/he will have to smoke ever more to overcome withdrawal. "The addiction-related changes in the brain caused by nicotine are permanent and remain years after a smoker has quit," said DiFranza.
That's why just one cigarette can induce an instant relapse in an ex-smoker and an ex-smoker who relapses after many years of abstinence has to smoke more than one cigarette monthly to cope with the craving symptoms.