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NIDA Home > Drugs of Abuse/Related Topics > Smoking/Tobacco


One of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S.
Nicotine is highly addictive. The tar in cigarettes increases a smoker's risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders. The carbon monoxide in smoke increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adults and greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in children.
and Trends:

In 2006, nearly 73 million Americans age 12 and older had used a tobacco product at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health; The NIDA-funded 2007 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 7.1% of 8th graders, 14.0% of 10th graders, and 21.6% of 12th graders had used cigarettes and 3.2% of 8th graders, 6.1% of 10th graders, and 6.6% of 12th graders had used smokeless tobacco at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future

NIDA's Featured Publications

NIDA Infofacts: Tobacco NIDA InfoFacts: Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products. The latest research findings for a general audience. (Fact sheet).
En Español

Research Reports:Tobacco cover NIDA Research Report: Tobacco Addiction. More detailed look at research findings. For a general audience. (Report).
En Español

PET Scans showing effects of nicotine on the body, see text
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PET Scans Show Cigarette Smoke Affects Peripheral Organs. (Press Release and High Resolution Image).
The illustration shows the concentration of radioactive tracer bound to monoamine oxidase B (MAO B). Red shows the highest concentration. Clearly, lower concentrations are seen in the smoker. In certain areas, such as the lungs and brain, concentrations are so low as to be virtually absent. This demonstrates decreased amounts of MAO B in the peripheral organs of smokers compared with nonsmokers.

Other NIDA Resources on Smoking/Nicotine

View all related NIDA publications >> 1682696since 10/25/99
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