Understanding Cigarette Addiction
You've heard it so many times: Cigarettes are dangerous -- for smokers and their children. And yet almost one out of every three kids in this country still lives with at least one smoker. Of course, being a smoker doesn't make someone a bad parent. Most moms and dads really want to quit, but smoking is a powerful addiction. Believe it or not, inhaling nicotine has an even stronger effect on the brain than injecting heroin or snorting cocaine.
"I finally realized that I was scheduling my days around my cigarettes and not my young children," says Maureen Upchurch, of Greensboro, North Carolina, who quit two years ago. "When they sat down for lunch, I'd run outside for a relaxing cigarette break and they'd get frustrated that I wasn't there. I felt like I was married to smoking."