Cigarette Dependence

  • Sharon M. Hall
  • Robert G. Hall
  • Dorothy Ginsberg


Nicotine, the putative active component of cigarettes, has many beneficial actions. It aids memory, concentration, alertness, and relaxation. It also suppresses weight gain (e.g., Comstock & Stone, 1972; Gordon, Kannel, Dawber, & McGee, 1975). In tolerant users, nicotine produces relaxation, pleasure, and even euphoria. Unfortunately, nicotine is smoked in tobacco, which is not benign. Tobacco also includes tars and other carcinogenic substances that increase the risk of cancer. The carbon monoxide in the smoke has harmful effects on the heart. Lastly, nicotine itself is cardiotoxic (Gilman, Goodman, Rail, & Murad, 1985).


Smoking Cessation Smoking Behavior Behavioral Medicine Addictive Behavior Minimal Intervention 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon M. Hall
    • 1
  • Robert G. Hall
    • 2
  • Dorothy Ginsberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical CenterPalo AltoUSA

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