Mental Health: The Inescapable Hold of Nicotine Addiction

In this episode, Dr. Divya Ganesh Nallur, MBBS, MRC Psych, MSc, Post Graduate diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Psychiatrist, and addiction consultant, speaks about three of the most addictive substances that people use – Tobacco/Nicotine, Alcohol, and Marijuana.

“Depression and addiction are inter-related and it’s always a chicken and egg situation, we never know if addiction comes first or depression. To get rid of depression, one has to get rid of the addiction first.”

Tobacco has been used as a recreational subtance for over two centuries. Initially, tobacco companies grew very well and advertised their products as being healthy. Consumers believed this and started smoking while on a break from work, but slowly, people started experiencing coughs and other breathing troubles. That is when more research was conducted into the substance. It took more than a century to prove that tobacco is directly related to cancer. As a fallout, for the first time in two decades, a decline in tobacco use was observed all around the world. “But even today, its usage remains significant. The latest WHO research shows that 30% of the Indian population still uses tobacco products and it is the cause of many medical problems.”

One way of tackling this addiction is by decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked in a day, gradually, and shifting to less harmful nictonie products like gums and patches. Cigarettes reportedly contain thousands of other chemicals so shifting to nictonie gums and the like is a big change. “But, in a year and without any motivation, only 2% of the addicts can quit on their own.”

Listen in!

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