Nicotine addiction is considered a major impediment to quitting smoking. Some investigators believe that the proportion of heavily addicted (or “hardcore”) smokers in the population will increase as more smokers give up smoking. But are heavily addicted smokers the least likely to quit in the general population?
Using data from the National Population Health Survey, this Update reports on a study that found that people at all levels of addiction have relatively modest success in quitting smoking the challenge of becoming and remaining smoke-free is not restricted to heavy smokers. Even smokers at the lowest levels of addiction continued to smoke at a four-year follow-up. Despite popular misconceptions, at a population-level, heavily addicted smokers are better able than some less nicotine-dependent smokers to quit and remain non-smoking for a long time.