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Do You Increase Smoking as you Age?

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At the Wikipedia entry on Drug Rehabilitation it says the following: "With regular use of many drugs, legal or otherwise, the brain gradually adapts to the presence of the drug so that the desired effect is minimal. Apparently normal functioning of the user may be observed, despite being under the influence of the drug. This is how physical tolerance develops to drugs such as heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine or alcohol. It also explains why more of the drug is needed to get the same effect with regular use."

 

This suggests that as you smoke, say, 10 cigarettes a day, your brain develops tolerance to it and to get the same amount of satisfaction as you did when you first started smoking you need to increase the amount you smoke, maybe go up from 10 cigs per day to 20 cigs per day. If you smoke, does this happen to you? Does this hypothesis sound right? Is there any scientific evidence for this ramping up of smokes?

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http://www.healthunit.org/chsr2004/smoking/fig1_smoking.htm

 

The data is up to interpretation now, though. I would venture to guess that there are less casual smokers among young people, due to social pressures. That would bring the average down in the older people catagory. Keep in mind that a lot of smokers don't live into old age, so that also brings the average down.

 

This is also only smokers in Canada.

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Yes, that does happen. I don't smoke, but several of my friends do, and they definitely need to smoke more and more just to feel normal. It's not a smooth curve (nobody will ever need 20 packs a day to feel normal, no matter how long they've smoked), but it absolutely happens.

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I've smoked for 35+ years and it took about 6 years before I was smoking 20 a day. I then smoked 20 a day for about 20 years then went down to about 16 per day. I stayed at 15 or 16 per day until I stopped about 8 weeks ago.

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With most poisons you can build up a resistance such that you require more and more to feel the effects. It's not as bad with nicotine as it is with alcohol since the consequences of overdosing are less severe, but addictive types should watch out for an increase in their intake.

I've smoked for 35+ years... until I stopped about 8 weeks ago.
Woohoo, way to go, JohnF! Never look back, baby!

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cigs contain nicotine which is an addictive alkaloid. so as one smokes his lungs out, one gets more and more addicted to the cigs . it requires mental strenghth to quit which is in handcounted few.so if people increase the no. of cigs per day, it is mainly due to addiction not for any physical need, but a psychological one.

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I smoke roughly 6 to 8 a day (roll ups) though I've noticed this goes up when I try to quit, due to the stress of trying to give up ;)

 

I used to smoke more when I was younger IIRC, however I do smoke quite heavily when doing assignments...so for me personally it fluctuates, depending on what I'm doing et.c

 

Congrats John F, I'm planning on quitting 'again' at the end of the summer, when my course has finished.

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At the Wikipedia entry on Drug Rehabilitation it says the following: "With regular use of many drugs, legal or otherwise, the brain gradually adapts to the presence of the drug so that the desired effect is minimal. Apparently normal functioning of the user may be observed, despite being under the influence of the drug. This is how physical tolerance develops to drugs such as heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine or alcohol. It also explains why more of the drug is needed to get the same effect with regular use."

 

This suggests that as you smoke, say, 10 cigarettes a day, your brain develops tolerance to it and to get the same amount of satisfaction as you did when you first started smoking you need to increase the amount you smoke, maybe go up from 10 cigs per day to 20 cigs per day. If you smoke, does this happen to you? Does this hypothesis sound right? Is there any scientific evidence for this ramping up of smokes?

 

i don't think the hypothesis works as well for smoking... the problem in the hypothesis is that smoking causes upregulation of nicotic acetylcholine receptors (no one really knows why!)... so even though the receptors become desensitised - there are more receptors - so it is harder to become physically tolerant to nicotine compared to other drugs...

 

i think with smoking other factors are more important... i think tolerance is more important with CNS depressants such as benzos, alcohol and heroin... i think with stimulants like ampetamine and nicotine it is the withdrawal symptoms - i.e. cravings - that are more imporant... e.g. it's very common to hear of people that have their first cigarette whilst in bed whereas it's relatively uncomon that people have their a shot of whilsky whilst in bed before they wake up... but as with all things it is much easy to overdo the science... the reason why a lot of people smoke is often because it's part of their routine, they use it to avoid stress, they want an excuse to have a break (e.g. to get away from work!)... i've myself have started drinking coffee and tea about 5 times a day since i've started working because it's a great excuse to have a 10 minute break... this is not addiction... it's just routine... i think it's importnat to remember that people smoke for something to do... and one of the major factors that makes it hard to quit (aside from the addiction to the drug) is changing out of routine...

 

so basically with smoking, i think it's cravings/withdrawal symptoms and psychological factors (increses in stress/boredom/anxiety) that can explain fairly small increases in cigarette use over a lifetime and psychological factors definely explain increase in use during tense situations... i don't think that tolerance is as important when it comes to smoking...

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Sometimes you don't realize that it is a waste of money by smoking a lot, even if we smoke little, it is waste of money and also a nuisance to health.

When I was 17yrs, I started to smoke, then it was with friends only once per day. Then when I left school, it became 5 cigarettes per day and when I joined my first, it became 10 cigarettes per day. It increases day by day like this.

I was aware that so much of cigarettes were not good for but I could not stop myself. Then one day I decided that I should decrease the amount of cigarette per day, then I started to smoke only thrice per day. Sometimes I smoke only once or sometimes but I don't smoke more than 3 cigarettes.

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i guess i would agree that the number of cigarettes consumed per day increases with age. my father tried to quit once but he is always with people who smoke. so he went back to his vise and now he is totally dependent on smoking. but i noticed, he sometimes doesn't finish the entire cigarette. about a quarter or half would be left from the cigarette before he throws it away. he is 60+ now. does this mean anything significant?

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i guess i would agree that the number of cigarettes consumed per day increases with age. my father tried to quit once but he is always with people who smoke. so he went back to his vise and now he is totally dependent on smoking. but i noticed, he sometimes doesn't finish the entire cigarette. about a quarter or half would be left from the cigarette before he throws it away. he is 60+ now. does this mean anything significant?

 

Probably that he now only smokes to satisfy the withdrawal and he no longer enjoys them like he used to.

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