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TOWARD A TOBACCO-FREE SOCIETY Chapter 11. Psychoactive Drugs and Changes in Brain Chemistry  Psychoactive drugs produce most of their key effects by.

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Presentation on theme: "TOWARD A TOBACCO-FREE SOCIETY Chapter 11. Psychoactive Drugs and Changes in Brain Chemistry  Psychoactive drugs produce most of their key effects by."— Presentation transcript:


2 Psychoactive Drugs and Changes in Brain Chemistry  Psychoactive drugs produce most of their key effects by acting on brain chemistry in a characteristic fashion  Consider the route of entry for different types of drugs  Ex. Oral drugs dissolve in stomach absorbed into bloodstream liver, heart and lungs heart brain  The more quickly a drug reaches the brain, the more likely the user is to become dependent

3  Once in the brain, psychoactive drugs act on one or more neurotransmitters by increasing/decreasing their concentrations and actions  Ex. Dopamine is thought to play a role in reinforcement  Heroin, nicotine, alcohol, and amphetamines also affect dopamine levels Psychoactive Drugs and Changes in Brain Chemistry

4 Who Uses Tobacco? 4  71 million Americans smoke  24% of men and 18% of women smoke  The more education a person has, the less likely they are to smoke

5 Figure 11.1 Annual Mortality Among Smokers Attributable to Smoking 5

6 6 Figure 11.1 Annual Morbidity Among Smokers Attributable to Smoking

7 Why People Use Tobacco  A nicotine addiction  Nicotine is a powerful psychoactive drug Many researchers consider nicotine the most physically addictive of all psychoactive drugs Reaches the brain via the bloodstream in seconds

8 Why People Use Tobacco  Loss of control  Tobacco users live according to a rigid cycle of need and gratification; on avg. can go for no more than 40 min. between doses of nicotine  Tolerance and withdrawal  Sudden abstinence from nicotine produces predictable withdrawal symptoms: severe cravings, insomnia, confusion, tremors, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, muscle pains, headache, nausea, etc., increased heart rate and bp

9 Why People Use Tobacco 9  Social and Psychological Factors  Secondary reinforcers are activities the smoker associate with tobacco use  Genetic Factors  CYP2A6  DRD2 (reward gene)

10 Why Start in the First Place? 10  90% of all new smokers in this country are children and teenagers  1,300 children and adolescents start smoking every day  Average age to start  13 for smoking  10 for spit tobacco  Rationalizing the dangers, invincible  Emulating smoking in the media??

11 Health Hazards 11  Contains hundreds of damaging chemical substances  Unfiltered cigarettes = 5 billion particles per cubic mm 50,000 times more than in an equal volume of smoggy urban air  Condensed particles in the cigarette produce a sticky brown mass called cigarette tar

12 Carcinogens and Poisons in Tobacco Smoke 12  43 chemicals are linked to development of cancer  Benzo(a)pyrene is a carcinogen- research has found that this causes mutations in lung cancer cells identical to those found in many lung cancer patients  Urethane- also a carcinogen (directly causes cancer)  Cocarcinogens (ex. formaldehyde)  Combine with other chemicals to cause cancer  Poisonous substances  Arsenic  Hydrogen cyanide  Carbon monoxide  Contains amounts 400 times greater than is considered safe in industrial workplaces  Displaces oxygen in red blood cells  Additives  Humectants, sugars, bronchodilators, ammonia, things to make sidestream smoke less obvious


14 “Light” and Low-Tar Cigarettes 14  Low-tar, low-nicotine, or filtered cigarettes  No such thing as a safe cigarette  Users often smoke more, inhale more deeply, blocking ventilation holes  Less likely to quit than smokers of regular cigarettes  As of June 2010, federal law prohibited the use of terms such as “light” and “mild”

15 Menthol Cigarettes 15  About 70% of African American smokers smoke menthol cigarettes  These individuals absorb more nicotine and metabolize it slower than other groups  Anesthetizing effect of menthol, means smokers inhale more deeply and hold smoke longer in the lungs

16 Immediate Effects of Smoking 16  Nicotine can either Excite or Tranquilize the Nervous System Depending on Dosage  Constricts blood vessels, elevates HR and BP  Stimulates adrenal glands to discharge adrenaline  In adults can increase alertness, concentration, information processing, etc.) opposite effect in young people  Can act as a sedative, and relieve symptoms of anxiety and irritability  Depresses hunger

17 The Long-Term Effects of Smoking 17  Cardiovascular Disease  Coronary heart disease (CHD) causes just as many deaths from smoking as lung cancer  Atherosclerosis leading to angina pectoris and myocardial infarction (heart attack)

18 The Long-Term Effects of Smoking 18  Lung cancer and other cancers  The risk of developing lung cancer increases w/ number of cigarettes smoked each day and number of years smoking  Research has linked smoking to cancers of the trachea, mouth, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, bladder, kidney, breast, cervix, stomach liver, colon and skin  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease  Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis


20 Additional Health, Cosmetic, and Economic Concerns 20 Ulcers Impotence Reproductive health problems Dental diseases Diminished physical senses Injuries Cosmetic concerns Economic costs

21 Cumulative Effects 21  People who smoke before 15 yrs. old and continue to smoke are half as likely to live to 75 versus those who did not smoke  Smokers spend one-third more time away from their jobs because of illness than nonsmokers  Both men and women show a greater rate of acute and chronic diseases

22 Other Forms of Tobacco 22  Spit (smokeless) tobacco  Contains at least 28 chemicals known to cause cancer  Cigars and pipes  Users do not need to inhale in order to ingest nicotine - its absorbed through gums and mouth  Cigars contain more tobacco than cigarettes more nicotine

23 The Effects of Smoking on the Nonsmoker 23  Environmental Tobacco smoke (ETS)  Consists of mainstream smoke (exhaled by smokers) and sidestream smoke (smoke from burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe)  Sidestream smoke has twice the tar and nicotine,~ 3X the benzo(a)pyrene, CO, and ammonia  EPA designated ETS as a class A carcinogen and Surgeon General has concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to ETS.

24 ETS Effects 24  Develop cough, headaches, nasal discomfort, eye irritation, breathlessness, and sinus problems  Allergies will be exacerbated  Causes 3,000 deaths due to lung cancer  Contributes to about 35,000 heart disease deaths each year  Nonsmokers can be affected by effects of ETS hours after they leave a smoky environment  Carbon monoxide lingers in bloodstream 5 hours later

25 Infants, Children, and ETS 25  Children exposed to ETS are more likely to have  SIDs and low-birth weight  Bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma  Reduced lung function  Middle-ear infections  Lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis later in life

26 Smoking and Pregnancy 26  Estimated 4600 infant deaths in the U.S.  Increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, SIDS, and long term impairments in growth and intellectual development

27 What Can Be Done? 27  The best way to avoid all of the added chemicals in cigarettes is to stop smoking right now!! This very minute!! THE BENEFITS OF QUITTING ARE IMMEDIATE!  Action at many levels  CDC-Tips From Former Smokers   Individual action-Talk with your friends and family who have quit smoking and see what helped them, 'quit smoking' products

28 How A Tobacco User Can Quit 28  The benefits of quitting  Options for quitting  “Cold-turkey”  Changes to routines  Over-the-counter prescription products  Support from family and friends  Smoking cessation programs  Free telephone quitlines QUITNOW


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