Addiction

 

The illusion of control

play a video about being bullied by cigarettes

There’s no way we can have a conversation about smoking without talking about addiction. Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for you, but most smokers get hooked before they even realize it.1 Cigarettes are sneaky — they give you the illusion of control, but are actually highly addictive.

Addictive by nature and design

Nicotine, a chemical found in the tobacco plant itself, is a highly addictive drug.2 3 On top of that, the design and content of cigarettes make them more addictive than ever before.4 Cigarettes today deliver nicotine more quickly from the lungs to the heart and brain.5 6 Did you know that when you smoke, nicotine reaches your brain in less than 10 seconds?7

As a teen, your brain is still developing, which can make you more vulnerable to nicotine.8 This may be one reason many teens who try smoking become addicted.9 10 Some studies have shown that even teens who only smoke a few cigarettes per month can have cravings for cigarettes.11 12

Losing control

As a teen, you are more vulnerable to the addictive effects of nicotine.13 The younger you start, the more difficult it can be to stop.14 It’s not long before the occasional cigarette becomes not so “occasional.” How soon before you have to drop what you’re doing to get a smoke?