ABC Medical Center > Smoking

What is Smoking?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is tobacco addiction, specifically to nicotine which is the main substance in tobacco. It generates dependency as it briefly causes pleasure in the brain, so to enjoy these effects, you need to smoke more to get that feeling back. Hence its difficulty to quit smoking.

The highly addictive degree of nicotine means that when you try to quit, you experience severe physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. However, it is possible to stop this addiction as there are currently several treatments that have achieved good results. Remember that even if you have smoked for many years, your health will improve significantly once you start living smoke-free.

Nicotine causes the release of neurotransmitters, which are chemical substances that regulate your behavior and mood. One of them is dopamine, which produces pleasant sensations and helps you to be in a better mood and with more energy. 

In this way, a physical addiction sets in and, over time and with the increase of daily cigarettes, it also becomes a habit that triggers mental and emotional dependence, which makes it more difficult to quit smoking.

Smokers make a lot of excuses or create situations to continue smoking, but the most common are:

  • After eating.
  • When drinking coffee.
  • When talking with friends.
  • During work breaks.
  • When talking on the phone.
  • When drinking alcohol.
  • While driving.

The only way to quit smoking is to be aware of the physical, mental, and emotional links you have with it, as well as the situations and aspects that lead you to smoke in order to avoid them and draw up an action plan.

Signs and symptoms Smoking

  • Despite trying, you have not been able to quit smoking. 
  • You have experienced severe withdrawal symptoms in your attempts. 
  • Your health is affected and despite this you continue to smoke.
  • You sacrifice friendships or visits to places where you can’t smoke in order to continue smoking. 

Countless toxic substances have been detected in tobacco smoke, including more than 70 carcinogens. Due to this, it is a reality that smokers have a high probability of developing serious diseases, such as:

  • Impotence in men and infertility in women. 
  • Premature birth and low weight baby in smoking mothers.
  • Pulmonary diseases: cancer, emphysema, and COPD. 
  • Various types of cancer: laryngeal, kidney, bladder, pancreas, esophagus, and leukemia, among others. 
  • Cardiovascular diseases: heart failure, stroke, and heart attack.
  • Diabetes. 
  • Vision complications.
  • Dental and periodontal affections. 
  • Tendency to develop respiratory infections,

Remember that smoking not only affects the smoker, but also those around it, since they become passive smokers who indirectly inhale the smoke. 

Diagnosis and treatment Smoking

The doctor will give you a detailed questionnaire to know your degree of addiction to nicotine and establish a treatment plan to help you quit this harmful habit, which will probably include drugs for nicotine replacement therapy and psychological treatment to understand the addiction’s mechanism and counteract it. 

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly professional and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.

Our mission is to provide you with comprehensive and multidisciplinary care programs for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of nervous system diseases, always focusing our activities on your safety.

Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • topdoctors.es
  • who.int
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medicalnewstoday.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Solar COM, Machado CRL, Martínez LJM. Efectividad de estrategia antitabáquica en estudiantes. Invest Medicoquir. 2019;11(3):1-15.
  • Zinser JW. La sociedad civil y la legislación para controlar el tabaquismo. salud publica mex. 2008;50(Suppl: 3):281-282.
  • Hernández-Pérez A, García-Gómez L, Osio-Echánove J, et al. Fumadores ocasionales y ligeros, prevalencia, importancia y alternativas de tratamiento. Neumol Cir Torax. 2021;80(2):89-93. doi:10.35366/100988.
  • Luperon LD, Prohias MJA, Claro VR, et al. Caracterización clínica y angiográfica de pacientes con síndrome coronario agudo en relación al tabaquismo. Rev Cubana Cardiol Cir Cardiovasc. 2020;26(4):1-8.

How can we help you?

    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.