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The best-known North American contribution to the world drug trade has always been tobacco. Tobacco pipes have been found among the earliest Aztec and Mayan ruins. “Drinking” the smoke of tobacco leaves was an established New World practice long before European contact.

In 1964, the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health laid out the case for the long-term ill effects of nicotine quite effectively – and millions of people quit smoking. A stubborn minority did not, and many of them still have not. Nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, is highly addictive. Addicted smokers often drink more and have poorer health than non-smokers.

Smoking cessation sites, created to provide information to help people to stop smoking, are common in the blogosphere.

Zyban was the first successful anti-smoking drug, when combined with nicotine replacement therapy like nicotine patches and nicotine gum. Chantix was okayed by the FDA as a second drug for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

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