Nicotine addiction is one of the most common among all forms of addiction in the world. Studies have inferred that nicotine can be as addictive as cocaine and heroin, if not more. People, regardless of their age, are more likely to be addicted to nicotine than alcohol. While normally it is referred to as smoking or the addiction of smoking, it actually is nicotine addiction.
Nicotine Addition Statistics You Should Know
1. Across the world, more than 1.1 billion people are smokers. This number indicates people who smoke regularly and have been accounted for. There are many more people who smoke but do not consume large amounts of nicotine due to their relatively lesser dependence on the chemical. There are many regular smokers who are not accounted for in this number, especially people who live in remote locales or those who are not accounted for through the sales of nicotine products. By 2025, the official number is poised to become 1.6 billion according to present trends.
2. China, the largest country in the world (according to population) has more than 300 million smokers. That makes about a fourth of its entire populace. In China, about 3 million cigarettes are smoked every minute and in a year that number exponentially increases to 1.7 trillion. These numbers take into account smoking tobacco which contains nicotine. The numbers will increase drastically if one includes the other nicotine and tobacco products. In many Asian countries, people chew different forms of tobacco which also contain nicotine. The neighbor India, which is the second most populous country after China, the numbers are equally worrisome.
3. If China and India are causes enough to worry, the United States offer a reason to panic. Across the world, about one in eight people smoke and are hence addicted to nicotine. In the United States that number almost halves. About one in five adults in the United States smoke regularly. That number remains the same for high school students. Although both of those numbers have started to decline in the United States, they have not declined as much as is desirable. In the past ten years, more people have quit smoking in the United States than those who smoke presently. But the half a million people who die every year due to illnesses causes or associated with nicotine and smoking tobacco is still a reality and it may take juggernaut of efforts to curb the menace.
4. Across the world, more than 5 trillion cigarettes (containing nicotine) are sold in a year. That brings down the number to about 15 billion for a day and about 10 million cigarettes a minute. This takes into account companies that report their sales and production accurately. There are companies which are not publicly traded. There are unreported productions and sales in almost every country. That can significantly raise these nicotine addiction statistics, if not double them completely. The fact that about 15 billion cigarettes are sold in a day, spending a few dozens of millions on advertising and promotions seem completely justified for the makers.
5. Smoking and nicotine addiction statistics are extremely worrisome. But smoking tobacco and taking in the toxic smoke, consuming nicotine and then being depended on it for an entire lifetime have many other implications, some of them direct and some of them indirect. More than 5 trillion cigarettes being made and sold in a year implies that there are an equal number of cigarette filters. The filters are no great saviors and they are certainly not tiny balls of cotton. These filters contain chemicals which are toxins, left over as a residue or byproduct of smoking. Traces of nicotine and hundreds of chemicals are loaded in these filters. Where do these filters go? Where do they get dumped and decomposed? Most of them lay around the cities, towns, parks and many find their way into the sewage systems and through to the groundwater resources. Regardless of how the filters are managed or treated by a specific country, they are certainly a threat to the environment and naturally to everyone who shares that environment. The sheer weight of 5 trillion filters of cigarettes is more than two billion pounds. The fibers which are used in the filters are actually not cotton but that of cellulose acetate in the form of plastic. Such a material typically takes a year and a half to more than ten years to decompose.
6. Now, here are some nicotine addiction statistics pertaining to the chemical itself and not just about the cigarettes or the act of smoking. One cigarette contains approximately 8 to 10 mg of nicotine. A cigar contains ten times to twenty times that amount. In other words, a cigar will have anywhere from a hundred to two hundred milligrams of nicotine. Some cigars may have 400 mg of nicotine. A few milligrams of nicotine can be enough to make a person sick. Hundreds of milligrams of nicotine are more than sufficient to kill an ordinary adult, if the chemical is consumed directly. It is laced with smoke and other substances to dilute the impact but imagine the eventuality when regular smoking will end up depositing more than a hundred milligrams of nicotine in your system. One cigarette dumps two milligrams of nicotine at the most because the rest is burned off in smoke. Regular smoking will not be so miserly with the nicotine dump.
7. Nicotine is not the only concerning element here. Along with nicotine, smokers consume many other chemicals. Whale vomit or ambergris is used by many cigarette manufacturers. This is an additive. Benzene, which is a carcinogen, is used in almost all brands of cigarettes. The chemical has been proven to cause acute myeloid leukemia. In the United States, more than nine people out of ten with exposure to benzene are exposed to the chemical due to smoking cigarettes.
What Causes Nicotine Addiction
Tobacco is a combination of hundreds of chemicals and most of them are highly toxic. Researches claim that as many as 70 chemicals in tobacco used in cigarettes can cause some form of cancer. But of all the chemicals, toxic or nontoxic, what causes the addiction is the nicotine. An owner of a tobacco company had once said infamously that they are into the nicotine delivery business. Sadly, they did not just deliver nicotine but several carcinogens or chemicals that were known to be causes of cancer. They did that quite deliberately to get more people addicted and those addicted to be addicted further so the tobacco company can get more sales. That is the sad reality of economics and commercial enterprises.
Beyond the world of economics and more than $50 million spent on advertising and promotions of tobacco products on a single day, there are far-reaching consequences for the ordinary smoker and even nonsmokers. Nicotine along with tobacco are causes of several diseases. The habit of smoking can reduce as much as thirteen years of an ordinary person’s lifespan in comparison with a nonsmoker or one who had smoked only a few times in his or her life.
Effects of Nicotine Addiction
Addiction to nicotine and tobacco have many direct health hazards but there are many other chemicals and synthetic substances which are found in nicotine products and cigarettes which can cause dozens of health problems.
Cigarettes contain radioactive polonium and lead. They are present in low levels, not as much as nicotine but they are radioactive. Cigarettes contain hydrogen cyanide. While the toxic compound was used in extremely concentrated form during the Second World War to cause genocide and is unlikely to be used in equally concentrated forms in cigarettes, the toxicity is reason enough not to be addicted to nicotine or smoking. Passive smoking, which is inhaling the smoke exhaled by a smoker, is also troubling. Passive smoking can lead one to inhale many of the toxins that the smoker takes in.
Here are some nicotine addiction statistics pertaining to kids and teenagers.
1. More than 3,000 kids start smoking every day in the United States. Across the world, the number goes up to a whopping 100,000. In every ten days, there are a million new smokers in the world. In the age group of thirteen to fifteen, every one teenager among five smokes and gets addicted to nicotine.
2. Here are some alarming warnings. About 25% of the entire young population in the Pacific and East Asian countries will die due to nicotine addiction and use of tobacco. 50% of all long term and regular smokers will die due to a condition caused or facilitated by nicotine and tobacco. Someone dies due to nicotine addiction and tobacco use in the world every eight seconds. Across the world, there are more than five million deaths in a year due to smoking and nicotine addiction. It is estimated that more than one billion people will die in the 21st century due to smoking and nicotine addiction.
Smoking and nicotine have far-reaching health consequences. They begin with affecting the respiratory tracts and create breathing problems. They cause infections in the respiratory system, reduce the lung’s capability to hold oxygen rich air and to filter the air breathed in and out. Over time, the chemicals in cigarettes, including nicotine, start to get accumulated in the body, including in the blood. The body fails to filter out all the foreign particles and thus the system is not cleansed. Over months and years, the body becomes vulnerable to dozens of health conditions, from risks of various types of cancer to a stroke, from a failing immune system to failing lungs.