Nicotine craving is the most prevalent, deadly, costly and potentially treatable of all substance cravings. Nicotine is a chemical which is found in tobacco. This addictive chemical enters the body by the way of smoking cigarettes, pipes, or consumed orally as chewing tobacco.
After entering the body, it crosses the blood brain barrier and reaches many parts of the brain. It stimulates the brain cells and a person therefore has euphoric feeling. It also leads to increased secretion of adrenaline and other hormones.
At least 80 to 90 percent of regular smokers get addicted to nicotine.Nicotine craving makes the person vulnerable to control the urge to smoke or have tobacco in various forms. The adverse side effects of smoking and chewing tobacco are coronary artery disease, hypertension, cancer, etc. These hazardous effects of tobacco is well known to every person who consumes it in one form or the other, yet craving of nicotine compels the person to smoke or chew tobacco.
Though difficult to give away smoking or tobacco consumption, it is possible to stop nicotine craving if a person wants it to do affirmatively in a natural way.
How Long Do Nicotine Cravings Last?
Nicotine stays in the system for 72 hours or a week depending on the number of cigarettes smoked and the period of smoking. In some cases the craving can last for months to a year once the person quits tobacco usage. Nicotine can be detected in blood, urine and in the hair. In urine nicotine can be detected for 2 to 3 days after quitting tobacco, while in blood it may last for few weeks as the time taken to metabolize from the blood is more. Nicotine can be detected up to a year in hair after stoppage of tobacco consumption.
Occasionally, even after stopping tobacco use, there are frequent bouts of cravings that may be present till one year. During this period, person has to willfully control his desire to smoke or consume tobacco, or the craving will supersede his attempt to quit smoking. Person may experience withdrawal symptoms once he tries to stop nicotine cravings. They are intense during the first week after quitting.
Natural Remedies To Curb Nicotine Cravings
The irresistible craving for nicotine can be decreased in a natural way with home remedies and lifestyle changes. It is a cost effective treatment as compared to prescription medicines.
- Exercise: Regular exercising is the best approach to subdue nicotine craving. Exercise helps to release the feel good hormones in the body. It replaces the necessity of a person who finds the same pleasure after smoking a cigarette.
- Drink enough water and liquid to flush out toxins. It helps to reduce nicotine cravings.
- Pass more time with people who do not smoke. It will encourage you to avoid smoking.
- Divert your mind to other activities which may be non- taxing to your brain when you are free. Playing sports, painting, listening to music, reading, solving puzzles, swimming etc can divert your mind from nicotine craving. The less you smoke, the less craving.
- If you are feeling hungry, eat a healthy snack instead of smoking a cigarette.
- Whenever someone offers you a cigarette, refuse him straight away. This will help you to build up your own inner will and strength to abandon tobacco.
- Eating alkaline foods reduces the desire to smoke. Oats, orange juice, almonds, raisins, figs are few foods that help to reduce the desire of smoking.