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  Smoking and Smoking Cessation  

Nicotine addiction ("nicotine dependence" in the currently accepted diagnostic schemes) is a substance addiction identical in structure, process and psychological defense mechanisms to all other substance addictions, including alcohol, heroin, cocaine,  and sedative-hypnotics such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Only the status of nicotine as a more or less socially acceptable drug prevented this fact from being more widely recognized and acknowledged until very recently.

The same mental mechanisms of defense that guard and sustain all other addictions operate to prevent nicotine addicts from breaking their bondage to tobacco products. Denial, rationalization, minimization, evasion, lying, secrecy, blaming and other forms of dishonesty perform their usual and customary functions of defense in nicotine addiction, just as they do in all addictive disorders.

There are many ways to stop smoking, ranging from just quitting to the use of special programs, nicotine replacement therapy, medication(Zyban), hypnosis and even acupuncture. All have some degree of success. None is as effective as we would like. Nicotine dependence is a serious and frequently fatal chronic addictive disorder that is often as difficult,  if not more difficult to overcome than the more dramatic addictions such as alcohol, heroin and cocaine. According to recent statistics, more alcoholics, whether drinking or sober, actually die of the medical consequences of smoking than die directly from the complications of alcoholism itself.

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Links guide
A good starting place.

American Heart Association
Information about smoking and smoking cessation.

Cigarettes and Other Nicotine Products
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Excite - Smoking Cessation Web Sites

Facts and Tips to Quit Smoking
From the National Cancer Institute.

General Smoking Information
American Lung Association.

Medline Plus Smoking Site
News and information about smoking. National Library of Medicine.

WebMD article on health effects, smoking cessation.

Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS)
Information, resources and links from the CDC.

Original Papers
click here