Stop immediately!

Had a week in new year to think hard.

Now is the time to quit with smoking!

In the brain heft nicotine has an effect on several transfer substances, the neurotransmitters. The most important are dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, vasopressin, serotonin and beta-endorphin. These substances play a role in:

- Pleasure (dopamine)

- Alertness (norepinephrine, acetylcholine)

- Suppression of appetite (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin)

- Mood (serotonin)

- Learning and memory (acetylcholine, vasopressin)

- Reduction of anxiety and tension (beta-endorphin)

Nicotine mimics the effect of acetylcholine. When smoking, nicotine reaches the brain in as little as 7 seconds, so the (rewarding) effect occurs quickly.

People who quit smoking sometimes experience a sense of emptiness.

There are two main reasons for this:

1. On the one hand, the physical aspect:

One experiences withdrawal symptoms that are a result of reducing/stopping nicotine intake.

- These symptoms may include:

- Sweating

- Restless feeling

- Gloomy moods

- Irritability

- Feel like having a cigarette more

- Not knowing what to do with oneself

- Fancy sweetness

- Falling asleep badly

- ...

We can solve this problem with a supplement.

2. On the other hand, there is the psychological/spiritual aspect:

For smokers, certain moments involve a cigarette, this is a behavior self-created over time: e.g. a cigarette with the first cup of coffee, a cigarette after dinner, a cigarette before sleeping, a cigarette to give oneself an attitude in a certain situation, etc.

So it is these moments that make quitting smoking difficult because the habits, the sense of relaxation and the feeling of calmness fall away. Something that felt very familiar is suddenly not.

You should definitely maintain your habits for the first time. If you used to smoke outside, go outside now too and enjoy extra breaths of fresh air. The "kicking off" of habits is much harder than that of nicotine.

Just quitting nicotine is often not enough; the mental addiction of smoking is a big factor in whether or not an attempt to quit smoking is successful.

The physical symptoms caused by quitting smoking last on average two to three weeks. The psychological symptoms are very individual. One person takes longer to unlearn the habits linked to a cigarette than someone else.

3. Less sensitive or an excess of dopamine receptors?

Smoking a cigarette is not associated with the production of dopamine, nor does a smoker have more or less dopamine in his brain than a non-smoker.

What is dopamine

Dopamine is one of the most common Neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is the substance that is passed from one neuron (brain cell) to another for communication. The release of dopamine is associated with achieving a goal or experiencing something new. The more difficult the path toward it the more dopamine is released. Transmitting dopamine is associated with the feeling of victory, a kind of kick.

4. Scientifically, there are two explanations namely:

a) Reduced (sensitive) dopamine receptors: Endorphins trigger the release of dopamine and insulin. If you have an optimal number of dopamine receptors, you will need less dopamine to feel rewarded than if you have few receptors. If you have an optimal number of endorphin receptors, you will be able to handle more stress and stimuli than if you have few receptors. So with few dopamine and endorphin receptors, you will have more stimuli to feel rewarded and calm. If you suffer from a lack of these receptors, you are more easily bored, procrastinate, reach for comfort food more quickly, are more prone to addiction and experience more stress.

b) An excess of dopamine receptors: Inhaling cigarette smoke causes influx of Nicotine into the brain. This substance Nicotine is very similar in form to Dopamine. Thus Nicotine fits exactly into the receptor slot that is actually intended for Dopamine. Consciousness thus experiences the same feeling as if dopamine had been produced. When Nicotine has fallen into the dopamine receptor slots, the loose Dopamine is still swimming around with no remaining dopamine receptors to fall into. Upon noticing this surplus Dopamine, the brain quickly starts making more receptors so that the remaining loose Dopamine can also be processed. Thus, a smoker ends up with far more Dopamine receptors than his average Dopamine level, but at his average Dopamine level + his average nicotine level. However, when you stick with not smoking for two weeks, the brain has adjusted the number of receptors back down so that it matches your dopamine level again. The feeling of craving then also stops. A smoker only feels a lack of Dopamine when he has just quit.


5. Treatment

Treatment consists of an intake consultation and at least two follow-up consultations. Our doctor prescribes a medication to restore the endorphin system. We also recommend targeted supplementation depending on the cause of the addiction.