Tobacco Withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal is a major roadblock for many individuals wishing to stop tobacco use and a powerful reinforcer of ongoing use. The emergence of withdrawal symptoms requires significant use of tobacco for at least several weeks. Symptoms will typically occur in daily users but can also occur in less frequent users. Withdrawal symptoms begin when blood levels of nicotine decrease with a reduction in the amount of tobacco used. Heavy tobacco users who develop high tolerance often experience significant withdrawal symptoms with overnight cessation. Tobacco smoking rapidly delivers a high amount of nicotine to the bloodstream and brain that contributes to more severe withdrawal symptoms than other forms of tobacco (e.g., smokeless tobacco). The half-life of nicotine, the time it takes for nicotine to be ...

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