Summary on Nicotine Addiction
Nicotine Addiction is a well-known among the teen community. Nicotine dependence can be successfully treated. The drug ‘Nicotine’ is a psychoactive drug with effects that reinforce tobacco use even though known harmful health effects. Family physicians are in an excellent position to promote both smoking cessation and smoking prevention. Nicotine is a psychoactive agent whose continued use usually leads to addiction. The pharmacologic and psychologic processes that determine nicotine addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to other drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. The most common form of nicotine dependence is associated with the inhalation of cigarette smoke. Pipe and cigar smoking, tobacco chewing and the use of snuff are less likely to lead to nicotine dependence. This article, therefore, focuses on cigarette smoking as the primary agent of nicotine addiction. Cigarette smoking may be responsible for as many as 350,000 deaths annually in the United States, representing 18 percent of all deaths. Total costs of smoking-related health care and lost productivity amount to approximately $65 billion each year. Despite escalating cigarette consumption worldwide, U.S. smoking rates are declining. Consumption reached a peak in the early 1960s, when 42 percent of adults smoked (52 percent of men and 34 percent of women). Per capita consumption began to drop after 1964, when the U.S. Surgeon General reported tobacco use to be a major health hazard. Currently, 26.5 percent of adults smoke (29.5 percent of men and 23.8 percent of women). Despite the trend toward fewer smokers, the percentage of heavy smokers has risen considerably. Although cigarette smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disability in the United States, most patients report that they have not been counseled by their physicians to stop smoking. This failure occurs, in part, because physicians lack adequate training in the area of smoking cessation.