Muriel Crawford is the author of "Smoking: 201 Reasons to Quit", a book intended to motivate smokers to quit, convince teens not to start smoking, and give guidance about how to quit smoking. Crawford says: Just because nicotine is legal doesn’t mean it isn’t an addictive drug. As with illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine, you physically rewire your brain when you start using tobacco. This is what causes addiction to the nicotine in tobacco. Your rewired brain craves nicotine to feel “normal”. After a period of time without exposure to nicotine, nicotine addicts begin to feel cravings and other unpleasant sensations. This is why you see people huddled in doorways dragging on cigarettes even in miserable weather—they are getting their “fix”. And, unfortunately, the brains of young people become rewired to crave nicotine more easily than the brains of older people. This is why most smokers become addicted to nicotine as teenagers.But the good news is that quitting smoking can also rewire the brain so that former smokers no longer crave nicotine, no longer suffer from cravings, jitters, or other unpleasant sensations if they don’t have nicotine. While quitting is hard for people addicted to nicotine, millions of people have proved that it can be done. Motivation is essential. That’s why I wrote my book “Smoking: 201 Reasons to Quit” after witnessing my dad’s slow, painful death from the emphysema that his smoking caused. Educating yourself on how to quit is also essential.
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