Nicotine use is a leading preventable cause of death in the world, directly and indirectly responsible for 440,000 deaths per year. The health problems that result in tobacco use tally an annual of $75 billion in direct medical costs (Slovic 36). That money spent on medical problems for smokers should be used to pay for more important things in our society such as schools, libraries, childcare, etc. Because it takes approximately eight seconds for nicotine to reach the brain and each cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals, tobacco is one of the most addictive drugs in the United States. ("TIPS" 8). Dependency is defined as reliance for a substance that you can't live without. Smokers have a physical and physiological reliance for tobacco, and constantly crave cigarettes. Smoking starts a cycle of craving which is stopped temporarily by nicotine. In addition, withdrawal symptoms occur if one stops smoking, which is a major factor in people continuing to smoke. Withdrawal symptoms include physiological distress (such as irritability, anxiety, and anger), difficulty concentrating (continually thinking about cigarettes), and excessive eating (smokers weigh on average seven pounds less than non-smokers). Smokers with a history of depression have more severe withdrawal symptoms and are also less likely to quit smoking. Smokers who are more dependent have higher rates of depression. Tobacco use is so deadly that it kills more people each year then all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, suicides, and murders combined ("Secondhand smoke" 2). Common reasons for death related to smoking include over eight forms of cancer, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Around 124,000 people in the United States die from lung cancer cause by smoking each year (Slovic 34). Other forms of cancer include laryngeal cancer, oral cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, and cancer of the urinary bladder. Lung cancer arises in the...
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