Early Nicotine use Re-Writes the Brain for Addiction
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Starting young may make it harder to quit smoking as
an adult. New research reveals nicotine actually changes the cells in the
brains of young smokers.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center exposed young and
middle-aged people to nicotine and compared their responses to nicotine
exposure. They report the younger subjects, especially males, had a
pronounced breakdown of nerve cell membranes in the brain. These changes
could alter the "hardwiring" of the brain and make an addiction to nicotine
in adult years more likely.
One in four teenagers are smokers in the United States. While this number is
down from years past, some experts say not enough is being done to help the
teens who are actively addicted to nicotine