Medical Monday: Beating a nicotine addiction

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Studies have long shown that smoking can lead to health problems like cancer and heart disease. Medical professionals say it can be difficult for patients to quit because nicotine is highly addictive.

Photo courtesy: MGN

Physician Assistant David Rios from Gulf Coast Regional Medical Care explained, "It causes damage throughout the body. Anywhere that oxygen goes... the brain, the eyes, the heart, the kidneys, and even the skin... nicotine damages, and it's the leading cause of cancer."

Rios says he has noticed that nicotine use tends to be generational. He says patients are more likely to smoke if they have a family member who smokes.

The Food and Drug Administration is exploring lowering the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. The agency also plans to evaluate e-cigarettes and possibly regulating them as an over-the-counter drug.

If you are struggling with a nicotine addiction, Rios suggests you reach out to a medical expert. Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program also has resources available to help those trying to quit smoking. You can find those resources by looking at the link attached to this article.