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Is it normal to feel dizzy when smoking?

Is it normal to feel dizzy when smoking?

May 26, 2024

Although in recent years the consumption of tobacco has been reduced to a general level, smoking continues to be a common occurrence today and a habit that, although harmful and long term dangerous to health, continues to be carried out by a large number of people. .

For the most part, smokers find a certain pleasure and sensation of tranquility in the consumption of this substance, being also something socially accepted and traditionally associated with maturity or virility / femininity. However, it is an exogenous substance to our body that will have different effects on the body. For example, many people have reported on occasion that they have reached feeling dizzy when smoking . Is this normal? Because it happens? In this article we will try to answer these questions.


  • Related article: "The two faces of tobacco dependency (chemical and psychological)"

Nicotine: type of substance and effects on the body

One of the main substances that are part of the snuff (although in a cigarette can be many other substances, many of them toxic) is nicotine.

This substance has psychoactive properties, and is the main responsible for the tobacco to generate physical addiction. It is considered a psychostimulant substance , despite the fact that continued consumption ends up causing depressant effects. That is why most habitual smokers feel relaxation sensations when consuming it and they tend to smoke more frequently when they feel nervous.


The mechanism of action of nicotine is based on its action on acetylcholine receptors , specifically to nicotinics. It acts as an agonist of this substance, having an effect on the central nervous system (in the cortex, limbic system and basal ganglia, among others) and peripheral, as well as on the cardiovascular and adrenal system. However, with long-term consumption ends up having a blocking action of this neurotransmitter.

At low doses, initially generates an increase in cholinergic activity, causing an increase in the level of activation and alertness. Higher doses generate sensations of pleasure by helping to activate the limbic system through the synthesis of dopamine. It also has an effect when it comes to increasing cortisol levels , ACTH, prolactin, vasopressin and growth hormone. At the cardiovascular level nicotine causes vasoconstriction, so that the blood goes faster and with greater pressure. This causes the functioning of the heart to accelerate, and at the same time, to carry less oxygen, also increasing the inhalation frequency.


In the adrenal cortex, nicotine acts generating a stimulation that results in the release of adrenaline. Finally, it hinders the action of the pancreas, causing the release of insulin (which allows us to degrade blood sugar) to be reduced.

Dizziness when smoking: is it normal?

Smoking, as indicated by the different advertising campaigns that we can see today, can have serious long-term harmful effects, especially at the respiratory level. Emphisems, injuries and lung diseases or different types of cancer (such as lung or trachea) have been significantly associated with the continued use of tobacco .

But in addition to these effects, it can also cause various discomforts and unpleasant effects during the act of doing so or after it. Among them are the presence of nausea, vomiting and dizziness, the latter being something relatively frequent.

Why do we feel dizzy when smoking?

Generally, the presence of dizziness is more common in people who begin to have their first consumption of snuff or in people who return to smoke after a long time without doing so, as well as in those people who quit smoking abruptly. These dizziness can occur due to various circumstances.

First of all, we must take into account the fact that smoking is, mainly, repeatedly inhaling a substance that is going to enter the lungs, this substance being irritating and making it difficult for the respiratory system to integrate enough oxygen into the brain. Likewise, the vasoconstrictor effect of nicotine causes blood vessels to be compressed , passing the blood at much more speed than usual and can generate hypertension. All these effects are some of the reasons why in the first consumption or after spending long periods without smoking the body reacts producing dizziness.

Another reason can be found in poisoning if the amount that has been consumed is excessive, or when they have consumed other substances such as alcohol that could interact with the effects of snuff. The internal balance you are used to our body suffers an alteration that can cause various symptoms to manifest .

Likewise, dizziness due to lack of oxygen It does not have to occur only in smokers who have just started. Taking into account that this substance harms the respiratory system, if you get to suffer from any lung disease for this or other reasons the consumption of snuff can generate these effects more commonly.

Another time that dizziness usually appears is when a person who has acquired tolerance and dependence on nicotine ceases its consumption abruptly . And is that the body has become accustomed to a certain balance that suddenly undergoes a change. We would find ourselves in this case with a symptom of withdrawal syndrome.

The blockade of the cholinergic action generated by long-term exposure to nicotine and the increase in the number of nicotinic receptors generated by habituation would in this case be responsible for the organism not being balanced and generating symptoms.

Bibliographic references

  • Pozuelos, J .; Martinena, P .; Monago, L .; Viejo, D. and Pérez, T. (2000). Pharmacology of nicotine. Integral Medicine, 35 (9): 409-417. Elsevier

Why Do I Get Dizzy When I Smoke | Is It Normal To Feel Dizzy After Smoking | Smoking | Cigarette (May 2024).


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