There is little doubt that tobacco use is extremely problematic in the U.S. and that many people suffer from tobacco use disorder and nicotine addiction. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disability, disease and death in America. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking alone is responsible for over 443,000 premature deaths in the U.S. every year — that’s roughly 1 out of every 5 deaths in America! Compounding that are around 8.6 million additional individuals that suffer with some form of illness caused by smoking.
NOTE: While there are multiple forms of tobacco use that all carry dangers, the predominant form of tobacco consumption in the U.S. is cigarette smoking. Hence, much of our discussion here focuses on smoking. However, Rehabilitation Physicians does treat all variations of tobacco use disorders and nicotine addiction as all of the addiction drivers remain the same.
To make things worse, the harm that smoking in particular can do goes well beyond the individual who decides to smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure is capable of causing serious diseases and even death. Every year somewhere around 126 million people in the Unites States receive regular secondhand smoke exposure. Nearly 50,000 nonsmokers are killed by diseases caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.