Nicotine Addiction and Treatment


Cigarette smoking causes addiction, which may negatively affect an individual’s health. To address the issue, researchers devised a number of methods to treat nicotine addiction. This paper will discuss the outcomes of tobacco addiction for John Smith and recommend the relevant type of treatment for smoking dependency. In addition, the paper will discuss the dangers associated with cigarette smoking.

Case Scenario

John Smith is a cigarette smoker who lives in the US. He was introduced to smoking while still a teenager by his high school friends. He and his friends considered smoking just a fun activity that they liked to engage in. Besides, it was even more fun for them because they were not of legal age to smoke. They used to hide during school breaks to smoke cigarettes. What Smith did not know was that with every inhalation, he was slowly developing an addiction to nicotine. He thought of smoking as a way of showing that he was an adult who knew what was good for him. Moreover, Smith saw it as the way to show his peers that he was part of them. However, he did not drop the habit after high school despite parting ways with his high school friends.


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Addiction of the Patient

Now John Smith is a nicotine addict. This is evident since he is unable to stay the whole day without smoking a cigarette. He smokes at least one cigarette every hour. Failure to smoke often makes him feel restless. He can hardly focus or concentrate on whatever he is doing when he misses his hourly smoke. Regardless of how much he tries to ignore the fact that he wants to smoke, he still feels the urge, and the only way for him to relax and continue with his work is to smoke a cigarette. Only nicotine-addicted persons can become restless when they do not smoke regularly, which means that Smith is an addict (Benowitz, 2010).

Inability to Complete Tasks

John Smith’s addiction is further demonstrated by his inability to be productive unless he smokes a cigarette after he wakes. Consequently, the first thing that Smith does in the morning is take a cigarette. When asked why he does this, he says that it helps him to successfully start the day, since missing his morning smoke slows him down as he cannot work or do anything as efficiently as he would want to. As a result, he finds it difficult to concentrate on his work, which reduces his performance. Nicotine addicts usually smoke a cigarette immediately after they wake up, which further supports the claim that Smith is an addict (Benowitz, 2010).

The Urge to Smoke

John Smith argues that if he misses his regular smoke, he becomes irritable and angry with everyone around him. Thus, it is cumbersome for his coworkers to work with him when he is at work, and while at home, his wife avoids him when he is irritated. Evidently, when in this state, he does not effectively cooperate with his coworkers. Most of them complain that they consider him as more of a nuisance than a team member in such a condition. On the other hand, his wife claim that during such moments, she avoids him because he is difficult to communicate with. He quarrels about everything, including insignificant things. However, as soon as he takes his regular smoke, he goes back to his usual self, and it becomes easy for others to interact with him. Irritability is another symptom associated with tobacco addiction, which further supports the argument that Smith is a nicotine addict (Benowitz, 2010).

Dangers of Smoking

Recently, John Smith realized how much danger smoking poses to his health, especially after losing some close friends to smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer. Such incidents made him realize that smoking endangers his life. Consequently, he became determined to quit the habit. He tried stopping smoking without seeking professional help, but the endeavor was not successful. That was mostly due to the withdrawal effects that he experienced (Benowitz, 2010). Therefore, it is advisable for him to seek help and guidance to quit smoking successfully.

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Treatment and Recommendations

NRT Intervention

I would advise John Smith to undertake nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which is an effective and approved method that may help him quit smoking. This treatment is based on the knowledge that people are addicted to cigarette smoking because of the nicotine found in tobacco (Mills et al., 2012). Although nicotine is addictive, it is not as harmful to smokers as other contents of cigarettes. For example, tar, which is present in cigarettes, endangers the health of smokers, and its excessive intake may lead to fatalities. NRT, in its turn, serves to ensure that nicotine addicts get their supply of nicotine without jeopardizing their lives. The aforementioned therapy helps addicts to take only nicotine, without the harmful contents contained in cigarettes. It also helps to ensure that upon quitting, a smoker does not experience withdrawal effects.

Skin Patch Treatment

The NRT treatment is available in diverse forms. One of these is a skin patch (Mills et al., 2012). When undergoing this type of therapy, an addict sticks a sticker on the skin when he or she is awake. A sticker supplies nicotine in small volumes to the body, thereby decreasing the urge to smoke. Alternatively, Smith could use inhalators, tablets, chewing gum, or nasal and mouth spray (Mills et al., 2012). These four options provide instant relief, since they supply the body with nicotine immediately. Therefore, they help reduce the organism’s craving for nicotine.

Chewing Gum Treatment

I would advise Smith to use a sticker together with the chewing gum treatment (Mills et al., 2012). Such an approach is the best option for him because skin patches will help ensure that the body gets a constant supply of nicotine (Herman & Sofuoglu, 2013). However, if the urge to smoke increases beyond his tolerance, he can use the gum to deal with it. As he continues to use these two options, he will find that he no longer requires the chewing gum, since the demand for nicotine will continue to decrease with time. Finally, he will be able to quit using stickers as well, without experiencing any nicotine withdrawal symptoms or having a craving to smoke.

Impacts of NRT Treatment

Although the US Department of Health approves the use of NRT, the therapy has certain potential side effects that John Smith may experience if he chooses to undergo the treatment. The possible side effects entail skin irritation, insomnia, headaches, stomach upsets, and dizziness (Mills et el., 2012). Some of the aforementioned effects disappear with time as the body gets used to the decreased supply of nicotine.


Quitting smoking requires the assistance or advice of a professional. This is because when a tobacco addict tries to stop smoking, he or she experiences withdrawal effects. In the case of John Smith, the treatment advocated is the use of NRT skin patches and NRT chewing gum. These options will help him quit smoking and, with time, be free of the nicotine addiction. Therefore, his life expectancy will increase by a few years since he will stop to endanger his health by smoking. However, the use of the advocated treatment may lead to him experiencing such side effects as dizziness, headaches, and stomach upsets. The effects will reduce and, finally, disappear with time, as will his addiction to nicotine.

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