In some people, using any amount of tobacco can quickly lead to nicotine dependence. Signs that you may be addicted include:
- You can't stop smoking. You've made one or more serious, but unsuccessful, attempts to stop.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop. Your attempts at stopping have caused physical and mood-related signs and symptoms, such as strong cravings, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, depressed mood, frustration, anger, increased hunger, insomnia, constipation or diarrhea.
- You keep smoking despite health problems. Even though you've developed problems with your lungs or your heart, you haven't been able to stop.
- You give up social or recreational activities in order to smoke. You may stop going to smoke-free restaurants or stop socializing with certain family members or friends because you can't smoke in these locations or situations.
When to see a doctor
You're not alone if you've tried to stop smoking but haven't been able to stop for good. Most smokers make many attempts to stop smoking before they achieve stable, long-term abstinence from smoking.
You're more likely to stop for good if you follow a treatment plan that addresses both the physical and the behavioral aspects of nicotine dependence. Using medications and working with a tobacco treatment specialist will significantly boost your chances of success.
Ask your doctor to help you develop a treatment plan that works for you or to advise you on where to get help to stop smoking.
June 04, 2013
- Cigarette smoking. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/cigarettesmoking/cigarette-smoking-toc. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Guide to quitting smoking. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Questions about smoking, tobacco and health. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/questionsaboutsmokingtobaccoandhealth/questions-about-smoking-tobacco-and-health-intro-and-background. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- DrugFacts: Cigarettes and other tobacco products. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cigarettes-other-tobacco-products. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Horn K, et al. Effects of physical activity on teen smoking cessation. Pediatrics. 2011:128:e801.
- Schroeder SA. New evidence that cigarette smoking remains most important health hazard. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;368:389.
- Child and teen tobacco use. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/childandteentobaccouse/child-and-teen-tobacco-use-child-and-teen-tobacco-use. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Rigotti NA, et al. Benefits of smoking cessation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults: A report of the surgeon general — Executive summary. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2012/index.htm. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- Danovitch I. The clinical assessment and treatment of nicotine dependence. Focus. 2011;9:15.
- Frequently asked questions about quitlines. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/quitlines-faq.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Quit guide: Clearing the air. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/quit-guide.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- Find tools to help you quit. Smokefree.gov. http://www.smokefree.gov/tools.aspx. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- A report on the surgeon general: How tobacco smoking causes disease — The biology and behavioral basis for smoking-attributable disease fact sheet. Surgeongeneral.gov. www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/tobaccosmoke/factsheet.html. Accessed April 18, 2013.
- Ebbert JO (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 23, 2013.
- Nicotine replacement therapy labels may change. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm345087.htm. Accessed April 26, 2013.
- Hurt RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 15, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.