How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Nicotine (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Approximately 14 Days – 2 Months

Nicotine is a pharmaceutical drug that is widely used as a stimulant. It is the main ingredient in cigarettes and cigars that some people use for smoking. It is a highly addictive drug that has numerous adverse effects on the body when consumed frequently for a prolonged time.

The chemical formula of Nicotine is C10H14N2. It is present in almost all tobacco products. It is, in reality, the chemical present in cigars and cigarettes that keeps a person smoking. Nicotine can affect a person’s vital brain functions. It reaches the brain within seconds once a person has their first puff of any tobacco product. It is a detrimental and devastating drug because of the harmful effects it has on the body and brain of any individual consuming Nicotine.

As Nicotine is highly addictive, it is extremely difficult for people to stop having it. The euphoric effects it has on the body are temporary and cause more damage when used frequently. Due to its ephemeral nature, Nicotine addicts are unable to control their urges and are in constant need of another puff of cigarette to experience the high caused by Nicotine.

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Nicotine?

ConditionsDuration
Time to get addicted to NicotineApprox. 14 days to 2 months
Time to quit NicotineApprox. 3 months to 1 year

One gets addicted to Nicotine when he is unable to live without consuming a single product containing Nicotine for a day. When a person’s life revolves around Nicotine, it is called Nicotine dependency. It happens when a person is unable to stop using tobacco products and instead demands more and more of them. Nicotine is undoubtedly a drug that makes it extremely hard for people to quit having it.

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One can determine if a person is dependent and addicted to Nicotine by observing whether or not that person has the desire to light a cigarette soon after waking up. Reaching for tobacco products in the morning is a good indication of the severity of one’s Nicotine addiction.

When a person has a desire to have a cigarette within 5 minutes of waking up then that person’s addiction to Nicotine is super strong. If a person desires to have it within 30 to 60 minutes, then the dependency is moderate. However, if it is 1 hour or later, then the addiction is somewhat lower but not good.

The effects of Nicotine addictions may start after a few days for one’s first puff, or it might take several tries of tobacco to get addicted to Nicotine. The time taken by a person to get addicted to Nicotine differs from person to person and can be dependant on various factors like the frequency of consuming Nicotine products, time of consumption, resistivity to Nicotine, and other similar factors.

Why Does It Take So Long To Get Addicted to Nicotine?

Nicotine is just like most drugs a nervous system stimulator. It is a drug that directly affects the neurotransmitters in the brain thereby hampering its functioning. Nicotine triggers Dopamine, popularly known as the feel-good hormone that generates pleasure effects inside one’s body when Nicotine is consumed. However, these pleasing effects are just temporary and would not take long for a person to get another one and start smoking.

The first puff anybody has of their cigarette would not be pleasant as Nicotine is not a substance that the body wants or is accustomed to. There could be a feeling of dizziness which is usually accompanied by stomach pain and headache. However, if the person keeps on having more and more of the said drug, then the body gradually becomes resistant to its after-effects and the adverse effects of Nicotine do not seem like a cause of worry for the body.

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A person could get severely addicted to Nicotine after prolonged usage or sometimes even after the first few doses. With time the body becomes dependent on Nicotine to experience the euphoria again and such a person becomes restless when unable to get their hands on the said drug. Nicotine dependency causes a person to smoke more and more cigarettes every day, eventually making living without Nicotine impossible but possibly damaging the body with each puff of cigarette containing Nicotine.

Conclusion

Once a person gets addicted to Nicotine it becomes one of those addictions that is extremely hard to quit. According to research, some people may get addicted to Nicotine after its second dose while some could take even a year full of consuming tobacco products to get dependent on Nicotine. Thus, it can be said that Nicotine has different effects on different bodies and the time taken to get addicted to it can vary accordingly.

References

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra0809890
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/add.15634
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