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[DIGEST: The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, CNN, Vice, Scientific American]

Nicotine is one of the hardest addictions to break. Despite wide exposure to health information that tells us that smoking can cause a host of killer health problems, more than 17 percent of Americans over age 18 — 40 million people — continue to smoke cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death. While many smokers say they want to quit, nicotine’s intensely powerful grip on its users means only 35 percent of people who try to quit smoking are successful.

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