The old vernacular uses the word “hooked” to describe being trapped by nicotine. Now the kids use “hacked” which is also a good word to convey how our addictions got done to us. To be clear, nicotine is merely the agent of clever, if not cunning manufacturers who have designed a way to get repeat customers, most of whom never leave until they have a health crisis or die. But I will leave that alone for now and focus more on the impact to the users of their products.
Nicotine is listed as being among the five most addictive drugs in the world. It is among heroine, cocaine, alcohol and barbiturates. But here’s the thing: its legal, and being so widely available, it hooks more than two thirds of those who try it. There are more than one billion smokers world-wide and it will kill more than eight million annually by 2030. So if even rats have the good sense not to smoke, why do we humans mess with it?
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