Smoking is known to be harmful for our entire health. One of the major effects of smoking is raised bad cholesterol and decreased good cholesterol level, putting the smoker into a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. There are some substances contained by cigarettes that put your health at risk once you are addicted to the habit. Nicotine is one of contained substances in a cigarette, which is researched to be addictive. Hence, this substance is known to be one of the reasons why quitting smoking is not an easy thing to do for most smokers.
Is nicotine bad for cholesterol?
Smoking is one of the habits which influences the level of overall cholesterol in one’s blood. A person who is highly addicted to smoking, accompanied by terrible diet choices and poor lifestyle is exposed to the risk of having high cholesterol level. Nicotine smoked from a cigarette is absorbed by mucous membranes, the skin, and other organs and enters the bloodstream and travels throughout the body. Once the substance reaches the brain, it binds to and activates brain receptors called cholinergic receptors. Regular smoking leads to the change of the number of cholinergic receptors, reducing the sensitivity of nicotine. As a result, it causes addiction to smoking.
Related to cholesterol level, nicotine does not have a direct effect affecting overall cholesterol level. However, the other substances contained in cigarette, such as tar, has a significant effect in the fluctuation of cholesterol level. While many people think nicotine merely causes addiction to smoking, the problem is bigger than this. While you are addicted to nicotine, you will be “forced” to increase the dosage of this substance inhaled and absorbed by the body. This is related to the changed sensitive of nicotine in the cholinergic receptors. As a result, you are craving for more cigarettes—you will smoke more often or smoke cigarettes with higher nicotine level. Here, the overall bad effects of cigarettes start to be visible and one of those effects is raised cholesterol level.
If you are addicted to nicotine, you will start taking more cigarettes each day. This, thus, will give a significant raise on your cholesterol level, and may even possibly cause cholesterol build ups and thickened blood vessels that put you into a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Can nicotine addiction be avoided?
Nicotine addiction leads to addiction to smoking, which is harmful for the health, not only the cholesterol level. Hence, avoiding addiction to nicotine is as hard as avoiding addiction to smoking. Since nicotine affects the brain receptors directly, the body craves for more nicotine each time. Hence, once you are exposed to nicotine, it will be very hard to avoid dependence on this addictive substance. If you are determined to stop the addiction, however, try to take some periods to get away from nicotine before fully avoid it. If you cannot cut off the dependence at all initially, try to replace cigarettes with nicotine sheets, which contain less amount of the substance.