Tobacco Addiction Health Center

One out of every five people in the United States are addicted to cigarettes, or about 61 million people. Even more millions use smokeless tobacco and cigars.

The Centers for Disease Control lists tobacco use as the single most important preventable risk to human health. Tobacco is used by smoking or chewing it to get the pleasurable ,but ultimately addicting effects of nicotine. Tobacco use has been proven to cause heart disease, strokes, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cancer of the lungs, bladder, throat, mouth, and pancreas.

Quitting smoking is difficult, but doing so immediately allows the body to cut the health risks associated with tobacco use. Some people can just go 'cold turkey' and quit immediately, but many more have success by using nicotine replacement products, such as gums, lozenges, or patches, which allow the person to gradually wean themselves off nicotine while avoiding the toxic byproducts of smoking and helping them resist the urge to smoke or chew.

Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
June 28, 2013