the dirty truth about nicotine addiction

Though smoking is becoming less tolerated in our society, nicotine is still widely sympathized and underestimated as a drug.

In 1998 the US Surgeon General concluded that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. A more recent report decreed that there is no safe level of cigarette smoke – it is poisonous at any quantity – more toxic than previously thought.

The dangerous effects of nicotine use are not obvious at the beginning. However, tobacco is the main factor in the top 3 causes of death in Canada – cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory illness.

The difference between nicotine and alcohol addiction is that, in Alberta, 90% of people who smoke are addicted to nicotine while only 2.7% of people who drink alcohol are addicted to alcohol.

An addictions research commission in Alberta believes that, since the initial physical reactions to smoking are so unpleasant, it is social pressure that causes people to continue experimenting with tobacco until they become addicted.

There is a study referenced by the Canadian Cancer Society that suggests it may take as few as one or two cigarettes for a teenager to become addicted to nicotine.

Of youth smokers, 48% purchased their own cigarettes even though they are under age. One third of them bought at a convenience store.

For more information, follow these links:

Health Canada tobacco stats

Research from Alberta on nicotine

Health Canada site about youth smoking

Canadian Cancer Society info about lung cancer

lung cancer death stat factoids

causes of lung cancer

Canadian Council for Tobacco Control

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