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Introduction to Smoking

Harry Mills, Ph.D.

Like most people, you already know that smoking is bad for your health. But do you really understand just how dangerous smoking really is? Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive drug that makes it difficult for smokers to kick the habit. Tobacco products also contain many poisonous and harmful substances that cause disease and premature death. Did you know that out of a group of 1000 smokers (age 30), that a full quarter of them (250!) will die of smoking-related illnesses prior to completing middle age, an additional quarter will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses shortly after retirement age, and another large group will develop debilitating chronic illnesses as a result of their smoking? Most people don't know the odds of getting sick as a result of smoking are really that bad, but when you do the numbers, that is how they come out. For many people, truly understanding the very real dangers associated with smoking becomes the motivating factor that helps them to quit.

woman smokingAlthough it can be a very difficult habit to break, smoking is ultimately a choice; it is your responsibility to choose whether or not you will continue to smoke. This article provides a brief synopsis of the risks associated with smoking; an overview of nicotine addiction, including why it is so difficult to give up smoking; and an outline of the advantages and disadvantages of quiting. Once you have decided to quit, you will benefit from the information in this article about the physiological, psychological, and behavioral aspects of nicotine addiction; the different methods available to help you quit; and the steps you can take to make the process easier. Learning about and understanding the many facets of the smoking habit can put you on the right track to successful smoking cessation.

 




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