Smoking: How To Stop

Smoking: How To Stop: Glossary

Here are definitions of medical terms related to smoking and how to stop:

Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter, or chemical in the brain that carries information between nerve cells.

Addiction: A strong dependence on a drug.

Arteriosclerosis: A disease in which a sticky substance known as plaque adheres to the walls of the arteries, narrowing and eventually clogging them.

Bronchitis: An inflammation of airways in the lungs known as bronchi, usually caused by an infection or by smoking.

Claudication: Pain in the muscles (especially the calf muscles) during exercise caused by too little blood flow.

Emphysema: An enlargement and destruction of the tiny air sacs in the lungs known as alveoli.

Mesolimbic dopamine system: A circuit in the brain that when stimulated by certain substances, such as nicotine, can lead to intense cravings.

Neurotransmitters: Chemicals in the brain that carry information between nerve cells.

Nicotine: The substance found in tobacco that causes addiction.

Nitrosamines: Compounds found in cured meats and tobacco than can cause cancer.

Osteoporosis: A progressive disease that weakens the bones, causing them to fracture more easily.

Passive smoking: The breathing in of air that contains other people’s smoke.

Peripheral vascular disease: A circulation disorder in which arteries carrying blood to the arms and legs become narrowed or clogged.

Thrombosis: Blood clots in the legs that can break off and go to the lungs causing respiratory distress or failure.

Withdrawal: Symptoms that occur after stopping a drug. Smoking withdrawal may include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, dizziness, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, depression, and constipation.

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