This is a topic I've shared my thoughts on before in smoker right groups/forums. And I talked about it briefly in one group today.
"Is smoking an addiction?"
Heck no! If smoking WAS an addiction, I'd be smoking ANY type of cig....including Ultra Lites! When people say "I need a cig now!" they mean they miss the feeling of a cig in their hands and mouth. And they wanna spend time enjoying the pleasure of smoking.
People who quit smoking but return to it do so because they miss the feeling of holding a cig. And the nice feeling the cig gives to them when smoked. Smoking is a pleasurable habit. But it's not an addiction.
If the ex-smoker (or ANY smoker) wanted just nicotine, he/she can use smokeless tobacco or eat potatoes. Why go through smoke if you just want nicotine? It's obvious smokers enjoy cigs, cigars, or pipes for more than just the nicotine.
"Is smoking a disability?"
Well, based on my view of the word disability, smoking is obviously not a physical disability. Nor is it a mental disability. Antis might argue it's a mental disability when the only thing on a smoker's mind is having that next cig after a long wait. But then again, some people have been able to successfully quit smoking. If someone can succeed in quitting, then smoking can not be a mental disabiity. So no, smoking is not a disability in my opinion. Smokers oughta be getting benefits if it IS a disability to others.
Social Security's main Q (in regards to getting benefits) is: "Does this disability prevent you from doing any type of work?"
Well, my cerebral palsy limits me in the type of work I can do. I obviously can't take a job that has a lot of physical work involved. Like construction. But I feel smoking doesn't limit my ability to work period. Albeit I need smoke breaks at times in order to stay focused and prevent from getting stressed out. Or I should say, in my case, I use bathroom breaks as smoke breaks. Since I'd get fired if a supervisor caught me smoking anywhere else in the ballpark. Co-workers smoke in stalls always!
Even if someone tried convincing to SS "My smoking habit makes me disabled" good luck in proving to them you're disabled. They would ask for medical proof. And their definition of work is you having any type of job. Even if it's a PT job where you work only 1-2 times per week.
If you're lucky to get a job in a smoke shop or with a tobacco company, you might get benefits (as a worker) in the form of free packs or discounted prices on packs. Actually, I believe I deserve to get free Newport cartons for at least one year, based on me being one of the few serious prosmokers out there for my age.
A small sidenote: Smoking prevents Alzheimer's. My grandpa never got Alzheimer's til a few years after he quit smoking. And he sadly died a month later after getting the disease. At least the docs didn't blame his former smoking habit for causing his death.