Nicotine Informtion - 8556

Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States.

In 2003, 29.8 percent of the U.S. population 12 and older?70.8 million people?used tobacco at least once in the month prior to being interviewed.  This figure includes 3.6 million young people age 12 to 17. There were no statistically significant changes in past-month rates of the different tobacco products among this age group between 2002 and 2003. However, there were significant declines in past-year and lifetime cigarette use between 2002 and 2003. In addition, the rate of past-month cigarette use decreased among 13 year-olds. Young adults aged 18 to 25 reported the highest rate of current use of any tobacco products (44.8 percent).

Cigarette smoking has been the most popular method of taking nicotine since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1989, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report that concluded that cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco, are addictive and that nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. The report also determined that smoking was a major cause of stroke and the third leading cause of death in the United States. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that tobacco and nicotine 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.