Nicotine is the psychoactive drug in tobacco products that produces dependence. Most smokers are dependent on nicotine, and smokeless tobacco use can also lead to nicotine dependence. Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States. 

Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Examples of nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite. Quitting tobacco use is difficult and may require multiple attempts,  as users often relapse because of withdrawal symptoms. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated intervention. 

Health Benefits of Cessation

  • People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk of dying prematurely.
  •  Benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, but cessation is beneficial at all ages.
  • Smoking cessation lowers the risk for lung and other types of cancer.  The risk for developing cancer declines with the number of years of smoking cessation.  
  • Risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease is reduced after smoking cessation.  Coronary heart disease risk is substantially reduced within 1 to 2 years of cessation.
  • Cessation reduces respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.  The rate of decline in lung function is slower among persons who quit smoking.  
  • Women who stop smoking before or during pregnancy reduce their risk for adverse reproductive outcomes such as infertility or having a low-birth-weight baby.
    • Among current U.S. adult smokers, 70% report that they want to quit completely. In 2006, an estimated 19.2 million (44.2%) adult smokers had stopped smoking for at least 1 day during the preceding 12 months because they were trying to quit.
    • An estimated 45.7 million adults were former smokers in 2006.
    • More than 54% of current high school cigarette smokers in the United States tried to quit smoking within the preceding year.

    We know you want to quit. With little more than a month left in 2007, let Smoke Away help you work towards your goal of quitting smoking in the new year!

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