Nicotine is the source of the addiction of smokers. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative health consequences, and tobacco use certainly fits the description. It is well known that most smokers identify tobacco as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them make a serious attempt to quit each year. Unfortunately, less than 7 percent of those who try to quit on their own achieve more than 1 year of abstinence; most relapse within a few days of attempting to quit.
Other factors to consider besides nicotine's addictive properties include its high level of availability. These factors, combined with nicotine's addictive properties, often serve as determinants for first use and, ultimately, addiction.
Once smokers become dependant on nicotine, they may experience strong physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms if they try to give up. These symptoms may include irritability, dizziness, anxiety, headaches, lack of concentration, disturbed sleeping patterns, feelings of anger, depression, tiredness as well as incredible cravings for more nicotine.
The more serious physical effects of nicotine come with the period of withdrawal. Physical factors that may be affected include experiencing headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, changes in appetite and occasionally constipation. Most of these effects can be controlled by other methods and will pass once the preliminary stages of withdrawal have passed. Most people are aware of the lethal effects of smoking and most of these are connected to other substances found in cigarettes and cigars, it is however the nicotine component that is responsible for the continuation of smoking and its addictive qualities.