The knowledge of cigarettes and their harmful nature is expanding all the time. Studies and experiments are being performed all the time to figure out what cigarettes are really all about. There is influence from media and entertainment that promote smoking more than ever, even though we know more than ever how harmful they are. We already know smoking cigarettes is detrimental to health, yet people continue smoking them. We are becoming more aware of the awful chemicals put into cigarettes that should be nowhere near our bodies. And still, cigarettes continue to be legal. There are four requirements established by the surgeon general that define addiction are as follows: 1) despite negative effects, repeated use happens because of
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Nicotine is most efficiently delivered through smoking because it crosses the blood-brain barrier in a matter of seconds after being inhaled and immediately starts altering the chemistry of the brain and causing feelings such as memory improvement, anxiety relief, and pleasure (Critical insights into the nature of nicotine addiction: A summary of key learnings to date, 2006). These effects reinforce the behavior of smoking. As with any substance, smokers develop a tolerance for nicotine, causing them to need more of it to get the same effect they used to get. Symptoms such as impaired concentration, craving, headache, depression, irritability, depression, and insomnia can occur due to withdraw from nicotine (Critical insights into the nature of nicotine addiction: A summary of key learnings to date, 2006). These symptoms have been labeled as the predominant contributors in relapse because the user thinks he or she needs to go back to what they believe to be a normal state by self-medicating with nicotine.
According to Lin, Hanos Zimmerman, Bover Manderski, Schmeizer, and Steinberg (2011), tobacco use is identified as the second major cause of death around the world, but in the United States, it is the leading cause of preventable death. Diseases such as chronic pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke, and cancer label cigarette smoking as a risk factor (Lin, Hanos Zimmerman,