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Smoking 'addictive as heroin'.

SMOKING should be regulated like any other addictive drug, according to a report published yesterday.

''Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine,'' the report from the Royal College of Physicians claims.

Smoking should be seen as serious drug dependence "second to no other", the researchers said.

The report recommended that a new regulatory body should check emissions in cigarette smoke and dictate what could be included in them.

"Nicotine is the most addictive, widely available drug in Britain," the report said. "But despite nicotine in tobacco products it is not subject to the same controls as other drugs."

The Royal College also demanded that smokers who wanted to quit should be provided with nicotine replacement therapies on the NHS.

Research shows that although one third of smokers attempt to give up every year just two per cent succeed on will- power alone.

"One in five deaths is a consequence of smoking, a total of 120,000 people a year," said Prof John Birtton, chairman of the Royal college of Physicians tobacco advisory group and a consultant at Nottingham City Hospital.

"Yet we allow this major cause of death to continue unregulated and uncontrolled.''
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Author:Palmer, Jill
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2000
Words:194
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