Smoking Is Smoking A Lifestyle Or Disease?

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According to the CDC, over 42.1 million Americans consumed cigarettes in 2013, and 32.4 million consumed cigarettes daily. In the same year, more than 480,000 Americans died of smoking-related maladies. This figure represents a twenty-four-point reduction in smoking rates since the first tobacco study conducted and published by the Office of the U.S Surgeon General in 1964 (HHS, 2014). These numbers represent a massive improvement, but smoking is still a disturbing blemish for an increasingly health-conscious and aware society. Despite these surprising statistics, the question remains: Is smoking a lifestyle or disease? Is smoking similar in nature to malaria or influenza? Smoking tobacco seems to cause cognitive dissonance regarding cessation, despite obvious suffering with increased exposure. The broadly understood inability to abstain permanently despite attempts to abstain and increased access to information regarding potential health risks indicates a dependent behavior. Many smokers understand the health risks associated with smoking and will often feel symptoms of long-term tobacco consumption, but they will continue using tobacco in some capacity due to a chemical dependency on nicotine. For tobacco consumption to be classified as a disease versus a lifestyle choice, several requirements must be satisfied. The International Classification of Diseases and Health Problems defines dependency syndrome as "a cluster of physiological, behavioral, and cognitive phenomena

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