Tobacco Addiction at 15-Year High - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Tobacco Addiction at 15-Year High

Nicotine Dependency Worse, Not Better

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    Tobacco Addiction at 15-Year High

    Smoking statistics are more troubling than ever, military doctors said Wednesday.

    Military doctors say tobacco use among troops in Iraq is more than twice the national average. And among civilians, California researchers found nicotine dependency is at a 15-year high.

    Pulmonary specialists say they may be seeing more nicotine-dependent people because those who are less addicted are more likely to have quit. Many communities have banned smoking indoors, and have heavily taxed cigarettes. 

    In the military, however, doctors say there's more of a widespread acceptance of tobacco use.

    That's why some fear that tobacco use may have a greater long term impact on the troops than combat-related injuries. In the civilian population, the American Lung Association predicts that smoking will take 400,000 lives this year.

    As hard as quitting can be, smoking cessation experts say smokers are 30 percent more likely to quit if they have some type of help, whether cessation medication, or counseling. The military recently launched an online anti-smoking campaign.

    Incidentally, there's a simple way to predict if a smoker will be diagnosed as highly-nicotine dependent. Most likely, that's someone whol needs to light up within 30 minutes of waking up.