The New York TimesThe New York Times

Breaking Nicotine's Powerful Draw

By Andrew Jacobs

02 Aug 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Most people know that it is the nicotine in cigarettes that makes them so addictive, but do you know why that is the case? This article discusses the power of nicotine.

At some point in the next few years, the 30 million smokers in the United States could wake up one day to find that cigarettes sold at gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops contain such minuscule amounts of nicotine that they cannot get their usual fix when lighting up.

Would the smokers be plunged into the agonizing throes of nicotine withdrawal and seek out their favorite, full-nicotine brand on illicit markets, or would they turn to vaping, nicotine gum and other less harmful ways to get that angst-soothing rush?

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