Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and causes release of the pleasure chemical dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain within minutes of the first puff, which reinforces continued tobacco use.
Tobacco users get hooked because of that pleasant feeling or "rush" and often continue to use nicotine to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Some of the complex factors involved in tobacco and nicotine dependence are:
When you stop smoking, the withdrawal side effects will appear in one to two days, peak during the first week, and then subside within two to four weeks.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.