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Why is smoking addictive?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
It's taken years of research to start to understand exactly how and why the body becomes addicted to nicotine. Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical that dulls the body's response to pain and produces a pleasurable feeling. Many addictive drugs, including cocaine and even caffeine, trigger a dopamine reaction. And studies using brain scans show that smoking triggers a release of dopamine in the brain. Unfortunately, the more you smoke, the more your body adjusts to a higher level of dopamine release. What used to be an elevated dopamine state is now normal, and so when you don't smoke, the body goes into withdrawal. The good news is that, in time, your dopamine state goes back to normal, and you don't require those levels. The challenge is how to stay smoke-free long enough to let your body and brain readjust.quire those levels. The challenge is how to stay smoke-free long enough to let your body and brain readjust.
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

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The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.