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Tobacco Dependence

In the United States, approximately 60 million people smoke. About 1.5 million quite smoking last year, but another 3 million people started smoking for the first time, most of them teenagers. Cigarette smoking remains the single, most preventable cause of cancer deaths in the United States according to the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. At least one-third of all cancer deaths annually are attributed to cigarette smoking, which means that 186,000 cancer deaths last year could have been prevented if smoking weren’t so widespread.

There are many smoking-cessation methods available for smokers who want to quite. They include nicotine replacement products such as gum, inhalers, nasal spray, the patch and Zyban, which is a medication designed to curb a smoker’s cravings for nicotine. If research being conducted at the MMRF proves effective, another approach — immunization — may be available. MMRF researchers are testing immunization as a way of preventing nicotine from reaching the brain which could mean that the smoker would not receive the pleasurable effects of smoking.


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