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» Tobacco and its effects

Tobacco and its effects

ingredients in cigarettes

ingredients in cigarettes

How does tobacco make you feel?

  • When people first try smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products, they usually feel dizzy or sick. When tobacco is used again and again, your body gets used to the effects of nicotine.
  • Many people who smoke regularly say it relaxes them or helps them concentrate. But regular smokers need nicotine, just to feel normal. They miss nicotine when they don’t smoke!
How long do the effects last?

When you smoke a cigarette, you feel the effects within seconds—but they last for only a short time. When you inhale a puff of cigarette smoke, nicotine is rapidly absorbed through the small airways and alveoli of the lungs into the bloodstream. From here, it goes through the heart and is pumped to the brain within eight to 10 seconds. Each time you take a puff, the brain gets another hit of nicotine. Most regular smokers feel like they want to smoke another cigarette 30 to 60 minutes after smoking.

Do you feel bad when you quit?
  • Yes, many people who quit tobacco feel bad as their bodies adjust to no longer taking in nicotine and the other chemicals in tobacco. These bad feelings are called withdrawal symptoms. How you feel when you give up tobacco depends on many factors: how much and how often you smoke, how long you’ve been smoking, your expectations about quitting and other events in your life.
  • Generally, withdrawal symptoms are worse for heavy smokers who have smoked for a long time.
  • Withdrawal symptoms are worst in the first week after you stop smoking. Most symptoms get less in the next few weeks—but you may still want to smoke for a long time.
  • People with withdrawal symptoms often:
    • feel irritable or restless
    • have difficulty concentrating
    • sleep poorly
    • have a bigger appetite or gain weight
    • badly want a cigarette


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