Document Type


Publication Date

September 2017


Cigarette smoking—a crucial modifiable risk factor for organ system diseases and cancer—remains prevalent in the United States and globally. In this literature review, we aim to summarize the epidemiology of cigarette smoking and tobacco use in the United States, pharmacology of nicotine—the active constituent of tobacco, and health consequence of cigarette smoking. This article also reviews behavioral and pharmacologic interventions for cigarette smokers and provides cost estimates for approved pharmacologic interventions in the United States. A literature search was conducted on Google Scholar, EBSCOhost, ClinicalKey, and PubMed databases using the following headings in combination or separately: cigarette smoking, tobacco smoking, epidemiology in the United States, health consequences of cigarette smoking, pharmacologic therapy for cigarette smoking, and non-pharmacologic therapy for cigarette smoking. This review found that efficacious non-pharmacologic interventions and pharmacologic therapy are available for cessation of cigarette smoking. Given the availability of efficacious interventions for cigarette smoking cessation, concerted efforts should be made by healthcare providers and public health professionals to promote smoking cessation as a valuable approach for reducing non-smokers’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.