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Like all other addictive drugs, nicotine activates the brain's
reward system. Nicotine is quickly absorbed during smoking and
travels fast to the pleasure-reward areas of the brain, producing a
satisfying, positive feeling. To recreate this sensation, more
nicotine needs to be smoked and before you know it you're addicted.
Why do withdrawal symptoms happen?
The moment you stop smoking, the supply of nicotine to the brain is interrupted. Because your body has become used to the effects of nicotine and needs it to maintain the feeling of "normal," sudden removal of nicotine throws your body out of balance and causes symptoms of withdrawal. Some of these symptoms include anxiety, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, poor concentration, short-term memory loss, and hunger. It will take some time for your body to re-adapt to functioning normally without nicotine.
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Updated March 2019