Nicotine dependence in women.

R. V. Fant, D. Everson, G. Dayton, W. B. Pickworth, J. E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States, accounting for the deaths of approximately 140,000 women annually. Despite the known health risks, women continue to begin and continue smoking at high rates. Like other addictive drugs, nicotine becomes reinforcing with repeated use, induces euphoric sensations, and is self-administered. Tolerance to nicotine's effects develops rapidly and leads to increased use. Reducing or suppressing tobacco consumption produces a withdrawal syndrome characterized by irritability, difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairments, and weight gain. These withdrawal symptoms, along with other factors, lead to relapse rates comparable to those following cessation from other addictive drugs. This review article discusses the pathogenesis of nicotine addiction compared to other addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin with an effort to provide comparative data for men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Medical Women's Association
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


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