Fortunately, it's one that the manufacturers are meeting head on - by making sure that existing smokers get more of a nicotine fix each time they puff.
Health officials in Massachusetts have found that there's been a 10 per cent increase in the amount of nicotine that's inhaled from cigarettes over the past seven years.
Nicotine yield - which is the amount inhaled rather than the amount in the cigarette - has increased in 92 of the 116 brands monitored by officials, and across every type of cigarette, such as 'full flavour', 'light' and 'ultra-light'.
Massachusetts is just one of three states that requires tobacco companies to submit annual information on the nicotine content of its cigarettes.
The state's health commissioner, Paul Cote, said that smokers could need "additional help in trying to quit". Time to crank up that nicotine content again.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2006; 333: 566).
E-news broadcast 21 September 2006 No.294 [Subscribe]