Nicotine addiction is the most prevalent, destructive dependency found in our culture. Despite its well-documented damaging health risks, nicotine use is still widely accepted and could be conceptualized as a social epidemic. Much of this acceptance may stem from nicotine’s lack of debilitating cognitive effects, as compared to those of other abused drugs. However, what may reign dominantly over nicotine’s legality is simple cultural precedent: tobacco has never been illegal and holds a place in human history. Therefore, attempting to alter this would prove highly unpopular and unsuccessful. This macroscopic irrationality, a blind favor for cultural precedents, parallels the irrational behaviors exhibited in an individual experiencing nicotine dependence. Just as the dependent brain unconditionally craves nicotine, our culture accepts longstanding practices and traditions, despite the contradictory state they may force upon our laws.
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