Nicotine-Tobacco-Cigarette Smoking Addiction

Comprehensive information on nicotine, smoking, tobacco addiction and how to quit smoking, treatment for nicotine addiction.

Comprehensive information on nicotine, smoking, tobacco addiction and treatment for nicotine addiction; how to quit smoking.

Through the use of cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. In a 2005 government survey, 29.4 percent of the U.S. population 12 and older--71.5 million people--used tobacco at least once in the month. This figure includes 3.3 million young people age 12 to 17 (13.1 percent). Young adults aged 18 to 25 reported the highest rate of past month use of any tobacco products (44.3 percent) in 2005.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing approximately 440,000 premature deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $75 billion in direct medical costs attributable to smoking. (Read more information on dangers of nicotine)

Moreover, the declining prevalence of cigarette smoking among the general U.S. population is not reflected in patients with mental illnesses. For them, it remains substantially higher, with the incidence of smoking in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other mental illness twofold to fourfold higher than the general population, and smoking incidence among people with schizophrenia as high as 90 percent.


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Lasser K, Boyd JW, Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU, McCormick D, Bor DH. Smoking and mental illness. A population-based prevalence study. JAMA 284:2606-2610, 2000.
  • Breslau N. Psychiatric comorbidity of smoking and nicotine dependence. Behav Genet 25:95-101, 1995.
  • Hughes JR, Hatsukami DK, Mitchell JE, and Dahlgren LA. Prevalence of smoking among psychiatric outpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 143:993-997, 1986.

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2021, December 16). Nicotine-Tobacco-Cigarette Smoking Addiction, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Last Updated: December 30, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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