Tobacco Industry Increased Addictive Nicotine in Cigarettes

While public health campaigns to discourage smoking have increased, so has the amount of nicotine in cigarettes -- a sly move by the tobacco industry to keep chronic smokers addicted, and get new smokers hooked. In fact, from 1998 to 2004, the manufacturers increased the amount of nicotine that each average smoker receives by 10 percent.

And a test by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that 166 cigarette brands (out of 179) fell into the state's highest nicotine yield range -- including 59 described as "light" and 14 as "ultra-light." Almost all the brands delivered enough nicotine to cause heavy dependence.

While I still believe that sugar is more dangerous than cigarettes, it is obviously beneficial to not smoke. If you're trying to stop smoking the best route is to go cold turkey and not gradual reduction. Why? Because simply cutting back, even down to as little as one cigarette a day, does virtually nothing to change the risk of cancer.

New York Times August 31, 2006