It's easy to show that people use nicotine despite its harmful effects. After all, practically everyone knows that smoking is unhealthful (although few know the specific frightening consequences as presented in this website), yet a lot of people continue to smoke.
In many cases, people even continue to smoke after they develop serious health problems that are made worse by smoking. A recent survey showed that 38% of people with the lung disease emphysema, 25% of those with asthma, 20% of those with heart problems, and 18% of those with diabetes continued to smoke, even though their doctors had told them that smoking makes these health problems worse. (1)
Sources 1. Panchioli M. Statistical brief #7. Smoking status of adults -- United States, 2000. Published 2002 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and available online at www.meps.ahrq.gov/PrintProducts/PrintProd&Detail.asp?ID=479