Up in smoke: The best way to kick a smoking habit — and other tips What is it? Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco all contain nicotine and are addictive. Most teens become addicted to cigarettes as a result of "social smoking," — — just having a few at parties. In fact, cigarettes are the most common "entry drug" into other addictions. About half of all smokers start by age 13. The U.S. Public Health Service calls cigarette smoking the most important preventable cause of death in our society. Cigarettes are highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. It's one of the most difficult addictions to break. What are the symptoms/risks of smoking? In the , a heavy smoker can get nicotine poisoning short term dizziness, nausea, faintness, rapid pulse, and cold, clammy skin. — Long-term risks of smoking include: Lung cancer Heart disease High blood pressure Peptic ulcers Cancer —throat, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix Emphysema Wrinkles Yellow teeth How is it treated? Nicotine addiction is a bear. And stopping smoking is difficult. So the best treatment is NOT TO START! Although quitting is hard, you can do it —in fact —over 1 million people in the U.S. quit every year and NEVER START AGAIN! The physical addiction is very strong, and the psychological addiction is really complicated. Most addictions are associated with different activities. If you smoke at a party, when you're drinking coffee, when you're on the phone you know what we mean. A lot of people reach for a smoke unconsciously when they pick up the phone. And to other people, that morning cigarette and cup of coffee are inseparable. — So when you're trying to quit smoking, you have to relearn to do certain things without the cigarette. — In the first few days after quitting smoking, the cravings are the worst. Nicotine gum or a patch can help during that crisis time. Here are some other quick tips: Set a quit date. Mark it on the calendar, stick to it. If you "fall" after that, just try again! Try cutting down. If you can't go "cold turkey," at least cut back until you can give it up all together. Make a lot of plansespecially for the first few days. Keep your schedule full of activities so you aren't sitting around by yourself freaking out. — Support groups are very helpful if you want to quit smoking. Nicotine Anonymous www.nicotine-anonymous.org has free, confidential meetings across the country, where you can get support, information, and meet people who want to quit, too. For more information on nicotine addiction and quitting, visit these web sites: Learn the risks of smoking and read helpful information at BeingGirl.com.