Do you smoke regularly? Are you quite sure that you are not an “addict”? Then what makes you feel guilty or want to quit smoking every time you smoke. You should know one major truth before finding the answer for the above is, If you smoke cigarettes, there’s a good chance that you are a “nicotine addict.”
Nicotine addiction test is a self-administrated tool and an easy way to discover nicotine addiction in individuals. It is framed from the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence. Since this questionnaire is a short and less time-consuming one, it is widely used in primary care settings to diagnose nicotine addiction in individuals. Nicotine addiction is considered a major threat to our next generation because it has similar pharmacologic and behavioral characteristics to cocaine and heroin addictions.
A cigarette is an efficient, well-engineerednicotine delivery device that has proved to be deadly when smoked regularly. Nicotine from a smoked cigarette will reach the brain in as little as 7 seconds after inhalation. A typical cigarette contains approximately 0.5 to 1.0 g of tobacco and, on average, 10 mg of nicotine. Addiction to nicotine does not happen quickly after using tobacco once or twice; it develops over time. Most smokers go through a series of steps from experimentation to regular use on their way to becoming addicted.
In a developed country like the US, more than 90% of current adult smokers began smoking before 18. Most nicotine addicts in their adult stage would have developed their smoking habits in their adolescent stage. So people who began smoking early in age tend to become addicts more easily. That's why studies comprehend, nicotine addiction is not developed overnight. It takes months to years for a person to be addicted. There are a few stages that have been observed among the individuals while being addicted to nicotine,
The active ingredient for addiction is nicotine, a naturally occurring drug found in all the different forms of tobacco, cigarettes, vapes, including JUUL. Nicotine is highly addictive, as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine comes under 2 classification, one as a stimulant drug and the other as a depressant, but many people who use it report decreased arousal.
Nicotine produces paradoxical effects, acting as both a stimulant and a depressant. As a stimulant, it has been shown to increase attention, memory, information processing, and learning. That is why smokers use nicotine to free themselves from stressful situations. This artificially perceived calmness unknowingly makes them addicts to nicotine. Nicotine stimulates the dopaminergic pathways of the mesolimbic system in the brain, an area involved in reinforcement for other drugs of abuse.
The Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence is a psychometric tool used to measure nicotine addiction in an individual. So far, it is one of the best and widely used psychometric tools in the diagnosis of nicotine addiction. The FTND is a six-item questionnaire, the core of it being developed around the major symptoms of nicotine addiction like “How soon you smoke after waking-up in a day?” if smoking is the first thing you do in the morning, it is one of the predominant signs of high nicotine addiction.
Among these 6 items, four items are measured against 4 standard responses; each of the responses is given a score of 0 to 3. The remaining two items are measured with a yes or no response with a score of 1 and 0 is given, respectively. Then the overall score is calculated by adding up the individual scores of all 6 items.
According to the overall score of FTND, the level of dependency comes under 4 categories like,
A person with this score is classified as a low dependence on nicotine dependence. They might not need therapy or treatment, but keeping an eye on your smoking habit will help maintain good health.
A person with this score comes under low, moderate dependence on nicotine. They could be offered with patches, inhalers, lozenges, or gum.
A person with this score is considered to be a moderate nicotine dependence. They can also be offered the combined therapy of patches with lozenge and gum.
A person who scores above 8 has a high dependency on nicotine. They need immediate treatment and therapy combined with lozenges and gum.
Worldwide, approximately 1.1 billion people smoke, and almost 6 million deaths occur due to tobacco. If this trend continues, it will reach 8 million deaths by 2030. As a global citizen, we should knowledge transfer our next generation that nicotine is highly addictive and deadly regardless of its form. It should not be taken lightly like smoking cigarettes is a fashion statement, a stress reliever, or just another habit not to worry much about it. It is a big no; we should worry about nicotine addiction. Nicotine is as powerful as other drugs like heroin or cocaine. So if you are suffering from your smoking habits or seeing someone close to you suffer, then take a nicotine addiction test and aware of what you/ they are going through to take the necessary steps to come out of it.
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