General Question

Scrumpulator's avatar

When people quit smoking, why is it that they crave sweets and food?

Asked by Scrumpulator (564points) July 25th, 2008

My friend just woke up and asked that question, she says when she wakes up its hard to go back to sleep, its like “have a cigarette or eat some ice cream” then sleep. Why is this?

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8 Answers

girlofscience's avatar

As a smoker, my guess is that it has something to do with being accustomed to the motion of bringing something to your mouth, or perhaps an “oral fixation,” though I really hate that trite term. Smoking a cigarettes is satisfying, and so is eating. I once knew a guy who quit smoking and took up eating popcorn daily because the motion of bringing popcorn to his mouth alleviated his need for a cigarette somewhat.

trudacia's avatar

I agree with girlofscience. On top of that I believe it may be related to your blood sugar level.

lovelyy's avatar

I agree with girlofscience as well. I am actually trying to quit and every time i feel the urge to smoke I go for a piece of gum.

nikipedia's avatar

@girlofscience: Don’t they teach you cognitive kids any biology! Sheesh.

Nicotine floods your brain with a lot of different, pleasurable neurotransmitters. Carbohydrates can mimic this effect on a very small scale. Food in general puts your body into a relaxed “rest and digest” mode, which is also helpful when you’re going through nicotine withdrawal.

But to a certain extent I agree with the oral fixation theory. I chewed gum nonstop when I quit.

JH's avatar

cause the body is not getting its nicotine as its used to

Lightlyseared's avatar

nicotine is an appetite supressant, stop smoking, start eating. Simple.

Indy318's avatar

“Nicotine, a weak base, is transported to the brain and stored in fatty tissues after being inhaled. In acidic conditions, it is converted to acidic form, which is less soluble in fat. The pH of urine becomes acidic after a meal, when a person is under stress, or when drinking liquor. Under these conditions, nicotine stored in the brain tissues is acidified and excreted. The more acidic the urine, the faster nicotine is depleted from the brain. This is why smokers crave cigarettes after a meal or drink of alcohol.” This was from an article in my chemistry lab packets, from a lecture by john hill, universty of Wisconsin.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

There is hilarious explanation in this article from New York Magazine called “Why Are Some Junkies Fat?”

This is David Carr’s theory, “Here’s my bs theory. Drunks and junkies are people who like sticking things in their mouths. Bottles, pipes, pills, other people’s body parts. But when consuming mood altering substances and other activities depart the scene, the reflexive activity continues. in my case, I developed an intimate relationship with all the major food groups while in treatment and discovered that while fake mash potatoes are not an intrinsically interesting food, they are a more the sufficient conveyance for getting great gobs of butter down yer piehole.”

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