What Causes Cigarette Addiction

What Causes Cigarette Addiction?

Last Updated: Tue, January 23, 2024

Cigarette addiction plagues millions of people worldwide, including teenagers. The causes of cigarette addiction span from genetics to peer pressure. 

If you want to know more about the causes of cigarette addiction, we’ll talk about them in this post. We will also talk about cigarette addiction symptoms and its harmful effects. 

Cigarette Addiction Symptoms 

Here are the symptoms of cigarette addiction:

You feel like you’ll never be able to quit smoking. 

When you have a cigarette addiction, you feel like you have to smoke forever. You also might have made one or more serious attempts to stop but failed. 

When you try to stop, you experience withdrawal symptoms. 

Strong cravings, anxiety, irritation, restlessness, problems concentrating, mood swings, insomnia, and constipation or diarrhea resulted from your attempts to quit.

Despite your health problems, you continue to smoke. 

You haven't been able to stop even though you've developed health concerns. 

You stop participating in social activities. 

Because you can't smoke in these places, you may avoid going to smoke-free places or socializing with family or friends there. 

What Causes Cigarette Addiction? 

Nicotine is the substance in tobacco that makes you want to keep smoking. Within seconds of taking a cigarette, nicotine reaches your brain. Nicotine also stimulates the release of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which help control mood and behavior.

One of these neurotransmitters, dopamine, is released in the brain's reward region and promotes sensations of pleasure and an enhanced mood.

Hence, to feel good, you need more nicotine the more you smoke. Nicotine soon becomes ingrained in your routines and feelings. It becomes a part of your everyday routine as well. 

The following are some examples of scenarios that can make you want to smoke:

●      Having a cup of coffee or taking a break at work

●      Making a phone call

●      AConsuming alcoholic beverages

●      Driving your car

●      Having fun with pals

To overcome your nicotine addiction, you must first recognize your triggers and devise a strategy for coping with them.

Anyone who smokes or uses other tobacco products runs the risk of becoming addicted. 

Here’s what causes cigarette addiction:

●      Substance use 

Those who abuse alcohol and illegal drugs are more likely to get addicted to cigarettes.  

●      Depression or other mental illness

There is a link between depression and smoking, according to numerous research. Smokers are more prone to suffer depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental illnesses.

●      Parents and peers

Children who grow up with their parents smoking parents more likely become smokers themselves. Plus, those who have smoking friends are more prone to try it as well. 

●      Age 

Most people with cigarette addiction start smoking during their childhood or adolescence. The younger the person is when they start smoking, the more likely they become addicted to cigarettes. 

●      Genetics

It's possible that your urge to start and continue smoking is genetic. The way nicotine receptors on the surface of your brain's nerve cells respond to large levels of nicotine provided by cigarettes may be influenced by genetic variables.

Effects of Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine creates pleasant feelings in the body and mind. When you smoke, your brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, the feel-good hormone. This creates a brief feeling of contentment and pleasure.

Aside from nicotine, cigarettes contain many cancer-causing agents and other harmful chemicals. The nearly 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco have physical, mental, and psychological effects. Using tobacco leads to grave health complications, including:

Lung cancer and lung disease 

Smoking causes lung diseases, such as cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also makes asthma worse.

Other cancers 

Many types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat (pharynx), esophagus, larynx, bladder, pancreas, kidney, cervix, and some types of leukemia, are increased by smoking. Overall, smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths.

Heart and circulatory system problems 

Smoking increases your risk of dying of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. If you have heart or blood vessel disease, smoking worsens your condition.


Smoking increases insulin resistance, which can set the stage for type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, smoking can also speed the progress of complications, such as kidney disease and eye problems.

Eye problems 

Smoking can also increase your risk of severe eye issues such as eyesight loss and cataracts. 

Infertility and impotence 

Smoking also raises the risk of decreased fertility in women. It also increases the risk of impotence in men.

Complications during pregnancy 

Mothers who smoke while pregnant face a higher risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to low-weight babies.

Cold and flu

Smokers are more susceptible to respiratory infections like colds, influenza, and bronchitis.

Tooth and gum disease 

Smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing inflammation of the gum and a serious gum infection that can destroy the support system for teeth (periodontitis).

Health risks to those around you 

Non-smoking partners of smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer and heart disease compared to people who don't live with a smoker. Children whose parents smoke are also more prone to worsening asthma, ear infections and colds. 


The best way to prevent nicotine dependence is to not use tobacco in the first place. However, stopping yourself from smoking is easier said than done. 

On the bright side, if you know what causes cigarette addiction, you can recover from it. Having right support systemand using a sobriety app like I Am Sober can help.

I Am Sober is a free app that helps you get some control back in your life.

Get The App