If so, I am sure you are aware that millions of people share your habit and smoke every day. Most of them, especially the smokers who have been at it for a long time, view the decision to quit smoking as discouraging at best. The addiction to nicotine is more serious than you may imagine. There are many factors that will work against your decision.

The smoking and uses of tobacco kills half a million Americans each year. One in every six deaths in the United States is the result of smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. It causes many diseases and it compromises the smokers’ health in general to no good effect.

Nicotine is a component of tobacco. It is the primary reason that tobacco is addictive, but cigarette smoke contains many other dangerous chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, nitrosamines, and more that are also debilitating to the body.

An improved overall understanding of addiction and of nicotine as an addictive drug has been instrumental in developing medications and behavioral treatments for tobacco addiction. For example, the nicotine patch and gum, now readily available at drugstores and supermarkets nationwide, have proven effective for smoking cessation when combined with behavioral therapy.

Advanced neuroimaging technologies further assist this mission by allowing researchers to observe changes in brain function that result from smoking tobacco. Researchers have also identified new roles for genes that predispose people to tobacco addiction and predict their response to smoking cessation treatments.

These findings-and many other recent research accomplishments-are affording us unique opportunities to discover, develop, and disseminate new treatments for tobacco addiction, as well as scientifically based prevention programs to help curtail the public health burden that tobacco use represents.