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Smoking Addiction Facts

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Of all addictive drugs, nicotine is one of the most widely used. The use of nicotine stems from the smoking tobacco, which is mainly found in cigarettes. While most people think that cigarette smoking addiction stems from people just having the lack of willpower to say ‘no’, research shows that ongoing use of drugs like nicotine can actually affect the way the brain works. Following are some startling facts about nicotine, tobacco and smoking:

Early Deaths, Illness for Smokers

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in the United States. In fact, there are more than 443,000 premature deaths each year (about one in every five deaths) that can be attributed to smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, cigarette smoking accounts for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the United States.

Another 8.6 million people suffer from a serious illness such as emphysema and heart disease caused by smoking.

Deaths, Illnesses Even Seen Non-Smokers

What is even more scary about smoking is that it can cause death and illness in those who don’t smoke through extended exposure to secondhand smoke (breathing in the smoke of others).

It is estimated that 126 million Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke and 50,000 non-smokers die each year by conditions caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Scarily, between 150,000 to 300,000 children younger than 18 months old -- those who can’t do anything about it -- experience respiratory tract infections cause by secondhand smoke every year.

Use Begins Early in Life

Other scary statistics include the fact that may children start smoking at early ages. According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.1 percent of kids in 8th grade, 13.6 percent of kids in 10th grade and 19.2 percent of kids in 12th grade had smoked cigarettes.

Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse