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Is nicotine addiction serious?

Addiction to nicotine is a serious chronic health issue. Nicotine is a legal substance but is also considered a drug.

When a person is addicted, he or she is not able to control  drug use and may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can cause an intense craving for the drug. A person may want to quit, but most people find they can’t do it on their own. Drug addiction can cause serious, long-term consequences, including problems with physical and mental health, relationships, employment, and the law. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “smoking causes a host of cancers and other illnesses and is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States."

Nicotine addiction is serious because it is connected to smoking and tobacco use. Nicotine itself does not cause cancer-it causes the addiction to tobacco products-but smoking and tobacco use do cause cancer. Tobacco use, with its many harmful substances, can lead to heart, lung and circulatory disease, and cancer. Smoking is responsible for more fatalities in the United States than any other illness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.