According to a survey by the European Commission, 26% of citizens in countries of the European Union stated that they were smokers. Although most smokers are aware of the devastating short-term and long-term consequences of smoking, many fail to stop smoking permanently.
For this reason, let's take a closer look at the effects of tobacco and explain how it affects our bodies and our brains. Perhaps you've already thought about quitting smoking or finding a less harmful alternative to smoking.
Ingredients of a cigarette
To better understand the effects of tobacco, we should first take a look at the ingredients of a cigarette. There are over 7000 different chemical substances in cigarette smoke, of which at least 250 substances are bad for health and around 70 substances are even carcinogenic. These include arsenic, lead, benzene and nitrosamines, among others. In our body, these can damage the genetic material of the cells and trigger leukemia.
The addictive substance in the cigarette is nicotine. When smoking, around 30% of the nicotine contained in the cigarette is released. A cigarette contains an average of 13 mg of nicotine and when smoking, between 1 and 2 mg per cigarette are absorbed by the body.
Nicotine reaches the brain in just 7 to 8 seconds and triggers a series of reactions. After the first cigarette, the desire for the next is already triggered and this is why so many find it difficult to quit smoking without alternatives.
Tobacco effect brain
Nicotine only reaches the brain after a few seconds and binds to so-called acetylcholine receptors, which are responsible for certain biochemical signaling processes. Here, the nicotine stimulates the increase in dopamine production. The increased release of dopamine in our body leads to a feeling of wellbeing.
Nicotine also spreads to other areas of the brain, such as the areas of the brain that are responsible for alertness and alertness. As a result, smokers feel more awake after the first cigarette in the morning and can concentrate better.
The effect of nicotine lasts for about 2 hours, but gets weaker by the minute, because the body starts to break it down immediately.
Tobacco effects on the body
Tobacco not only triggers reactions in the brain, but it also has a major impact on our bodies. When smoking, the heart starts beating faster and the body temperature drops slightly. As tobacco narrows the blood vessels, it also increases blood pressure.
In the stomach, nicotine triggers an increase in gastric juice production and digestion is stimulated. For many, this causes nausea and inhibits appetite. In addition, smokers perceive an increased sensitivity to pain, as the pain receptors are overexcited.
Why is nicotine addicting?
Due to the increased release of the hormone dopamine, many smokers have the feeling that smoking makes you happy. As soon as nicotine is broken down in the body, the desire for a new cigarette arises in order to regain or maintain the feeling of well-being.
Suddenly stopping smoking is associated with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as increased irritability, restlessness and mood swings. Most attempts to quit smoking are unsuccessful.
Snus as an alternative to smoking
If you want to stop smoking permanently and cannot cope with a sudden stop, you can try the smoke-free alternative snus. Since there is no combustion process when consuming snus, many of the toxins contained in the cigarette are not released.
Snus can be bought in different flavors and the amount of nicotine also varies. For example, T45 Cool Mint X-Strong WDP has a relatively high nicotine content with 38 mg / g. White Fox Double Mint AW, on the other hand, contains a little less nicotine at 16.5 mg / g. Those looking for a mild alternative should try Lyft brand products, such as Lyft Tropic Breeze AW with 8 mg / g nicotine.