Sex Differences in Nicotine Action

  • Sakire Pogun
  • Gorkem Yararbas
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 192)


Accumulating evidence suggests that the antecedents, consequences, and mechanisms of drug abuse and dependence are not identical in males and females and that gender may be an important variable in treatment and prevention. Although there has been a decline in smoking prevalence in developed countries, females are less successful in quitting. Tobacco use is accepted to be a form of addiction, which manifests sex differences. There is also evidence for sex differences in the central effects of nicotine in laboratory animals. Although social factors impact smoking substantially in humans, findings from nonhuman subjects in controlled experiments provide support that sex differences in nicotine/tobacco addiction have a biological basis. Differences in the pharmacokinetic properties of nicotine or the effect of gonadal hormones may underlie some but not all sex differences observed. Laboratory-based information is very important in developing treatment strategies. Literature findings suggest that including sex as a factor in nicotine/tobacco-related studies will improve our success rates in individually tailored smoking cessation programs.


Depression Cortisol Serotonin Caffeine Tamoxifen 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sakire Pogun
    • 1
  • Gorkem Yararbas
    • 2
  1. 1.Ege University Center for Brain ResearchEge UniversityBornova, IzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Center for Drug R&D and Pharmacokinetic ApplicationsEge UniversityBornova, IzmirTurkey

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