Nicotine or tobacco dependence is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the drug nicotine.
Nicotine dependence means you can’t stop using the substance, even though it’s causing you harm.
Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects in your brain that are temporarily pleasing. These effects make you want to use tobacco and lead to dependence. At the same time, stopping tobacco use causes withdrawal symptoms, including irritability and anxiety.
Smokers have much higher rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer than nonsmokers do. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK and accounts for around 100,000 deaths in the UK each year.
Smoking increases the risk of developing over 50 serious health conditions; some of which can be fatal while others can cause irreversible long-term health damage.
Regardless of how long you’ve smoked, stopping smoking can improve your health. Many effective treatments for nicotine dependence are available to help you manage withdrawal and stop smoking for good.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation could offer an alternative treatment option for the cravings that smokers experience in nicotine addiction. Transcranial magnetic stimulation works directly on the associated areas of the brain and has shown excellent results in a variety of treatment areas, including helping people to stop smoking.
1) Preliminary results also indicate benefit in reducing craving and relapse in smoking cessation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6166007/
2) In a study with 37 smokers who failed to quit with the usual treatments were randomly assigned to two treatment groups to receive either active (n = 18) or sham (n = 19) low frequency rTMS of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The day after quitting smoking, each patient combined Nicotine patches with active or sham rTMS (10 sessions) for 2 weeks. Cessation support was then continued with nicotine patches alone using lower-dose patches. At the end of the combined treatment, there were significantly more abstinent participants in the active rTMS group (n = 16) than in the sham rTMS group (n = 9) (P = 0.027). The craving scales analysis revealed that active rTMS (P = 0.011) but not sham rTMS (P = 0.116) led to a significant decrease in the compulsive factor.
(Trojak et al, 2015)
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