Smoking is one of the most widely abused substances in the world. It is highly addictive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that tobacco causes 6 million deathsTrusted Source per year. This makes tobacco the leadingTrusted Source cause of preventable death.
Nicotine is the main addictive chemical in tobacco. It causes a rush of adrenaline when absorbed in the bloodstream or inhaled via cigarette smoke. Nicotine also triggers an increase in dopamine. This is sometimes referred to as the brain’s “happy” chemical.
Dopamine stimulates the area of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. Like any other drug, use of tobacco over time can cause a physical and psychological addiction. This is also true for smokeless forms of tobacco, such as snuff and chewing tobacco.
In 2011, about 70 percentTrusted Source of all adult smokers said they wanted to stop smoking.