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Tobacco Use Disorder

Overview

As with other substances, some people develop a mental health condition related to their tobacco use. If there's a chance you may have tobacco use disorder, it's important to find out. Ask yourself the following questions. You may have tobacco use disorder if your answer is "yes" to two or more of them.

  • Are you not able to cut down or control your tobacco use? Or do you constantly wish you could quit?
  • Do you use larger amounts of tobacco than you ever meant to? Or have you been using it for a longer time than you ever meant to?
  • Do you have strong cravings for tobacco?
  • Do you find that you can no longer do your main jobs at work, at school, or at home?
  • Do you spend a lot of time getting or using tobacco or recovering from the effects?
  • Do you keep using, even though your tobacco use hurts your relationships?
  • Have you stopped doing important activities because of your tobacco use?
  • Do you use tobacco in situations where doing so is dangerous?
  • Do you keep using tobacco even though you know it's causing health problems?
  • Do you need more and more tobacco to get the same effect, or do you get less effect from the same amount over time? This is called tolerance.
  • Do you have uncomfortable symptoms (withdrawal) when you stop using tobacco or use less?

Tobacco use disorder can range from mild to severe. The more symptoms of this disorder you have, the more severe it may be.

But these symptoms don't mean that you can't quit smoking. Many people have overcome this problem. And most of them started by reaching out to others, like caring friends or family, their doctor, or a support group.

Do you think you might have tobacco use disorder? If you do, then you've just taken an important first step.

Credits

Current as of: August 2, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine