- QuitSure Team
Impact of Nicotine on your Mind, Body and Soul
Updated: Apr 13
Have you ever wondered what a habit does to you when it is not ideal? What happens when you ingest poison into your system? And why is it that you are affected as a whole? Not just physically but also in other ways?
The answer is quite simple really - Substance abuse or Addiction makes you hollow from within. To put forth a philosophical illustration - it plays on your body, mind and soul. That is what nicotine does too. Nicotine addiction and consumption, in any form i.e. smoking, vaping or patches, harms you physically, hampers your mental growth and affects your existence as a whole.
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine comes from tobacco leaves, ‘nicotine is actually a poison’ tobacco plants produce nicotine to avoid being consumed by insects. Insects don’t eat tobacco plants because they will die if they eat them. It is a natural protection mechanism of plants that evolved over millions of years. Also, nicotine is ‘used in creating pesticides’. When an insect eats the nicotine pesticide it gets leg tremors, loses control over its wings, gets disoriented, and eventually gets paralyzed and dies. If you compare nicotine to some volume of the venom of the deadly snake, nicotine is more poisonous.
Nicotine is one of the most ‘addictive’ substances you can consume! It is even more addictive than Heroin! Nicotine is absorbed fast (within 10 seconds). It also leaves fast. It takes about 2 hours for 50% of nicotine to leave the body. Nicotine has the ability to be absorbed in the brain & start dopamine production. Nicotine has the ability to control our mood & decisions. So we get a dopamine hit when we smoke. Also, the message that goes to our brain is "Remember this activity and repeat it" (i.e. smoking is pleasurable. It is necessary for our survival. Do it again.). So every time we smoke or consume ‘nicotine’ an ‘urge’ is created which prompts you to ‘refill’ the nicotine tank.
What are some impacts that nicotine can have on your body?
The damage that Nicotine causes to your body is significant. It is time to take a sneak peek into the details. (What you will see here is a lot of scientific and medical terms. In case you are stuck, you can pull out the thesaurus or Google these effects for better clarity.) So here we go -
Metabolism - It also causes lipolysis thus decreasing body weight. Nicotine affects insulin resistance and predisposes to metabolic syndrome.
Cancer - In normal cells, nicotine can stimulate properties consistent with cell transformation and the early stages of cancer formation, such as increased cell proliferation, decreased cellular dependence on the extracellular matrix for survival, and decreased contact inhibition.
Cardiovascular system - Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor's actions on vascular smooth muscle proliferation and plaque neovascularization increases the risk of peripheral arterial disorders.
Immunity system - The migration of fibroblasts and inflammatory cells to the inflamed site is reduced. There is decreased epithelialization and cell adhesion and thus there is a delayed wound healing as well as increased risk of infection in nicotine exposed individuals.
Kidney Health - Nicotine consumption reduces blood flow to kidneys, increases Blood pressure and heart rate, damages renal arteries and narrows blood vessels in the kidney
Reproductive system - It may lead to loss of penile erections and erectile dysfunction in males & decreased blood flow to the oviducts and thus impaired fertilization in females.
Nicotine and Its Impact on The Mind
Mental health is as important as physical health. Nicotine also messes around with your mind, affecting your intellectual and emotional state of existence.
It affects the way your neurotransmitters work and interrupts the signals being sent to your brain. It mimics the functioning of dopamine and subconsciously, you are always dependent on a nicotine based product for a state of calm or joy. The pleasure that you used to once get by doing fun activities has now been taken over by nicotine, enslaving you in its shackles.
Your mood also starts going downhill. You become more anxious, irritable. And what you think is a stress-reliever is actually increasing cortisol levels in your body (the stress hormone). Your brain volume reduces, which can cause dementia and other memory related conditions.
When it comes to cognitive functioning, you might start feeling purposeless. Your sensory motor skills will face a major setback. Your personality will witness a massive change. Extreme cases of nicotine addiction have also seen conditions like hallucinations, apathy and depression. You are at a higher risk of schizophrenia.
Basically, it all starts going downhill from here.
Nicotine and Its Impact on The Soul
Taking a tangential turn into philosophy, your soul is connected to your body and mind. If your mind and body are being abused, your soul is never going to be at ease. By ingesting poisonous nicotine into your bloodstream, you are creating unrest in the balance cycles of your body.
Spiritually, cultivating bad habits is a sin. Consuming nicotine in any form i.e. cigarettes, vaping, patches or gums is termed as a ‘bad habit’. It is thus, that you might be committing a sin by using products laced with nicotine.
You are a being made up of three elements - your body, mind and soul. When an imbalance is caused as a result of bad habits aka nicotine here, you are pushed into a cycle of endless guilt and lack of control over your desires. According to the Karma theory, indulging in ‘forbidden’ practices can add to the human baggage of sins, which will ultimately act as an obstacle in attaining salvation.
And now you know, the effects nicotine has on you as a whole! It is up to you to decide how you want to deal with it. Our initial recommendation would be to never fall into the trap of nicotine at all. But by any chance, if you do, you need to choose what is right for your mind, body and soul. If you are looking forward to quit smoking, quit vaping or get rid of nicotine patches and gums, we are here for you. Do the right thing for your own good by welcoming yourself to the other side - the bright side of a smoke-free, vape-free and nicotine-free life!
Read more about the detailed timeline of benefits you can get once you quit smoking.