Psychological and Psychiatric Consequences of Nicotine

  • Janet Brigham


Most reports about nicotine begin with an explanation of the numerous health risks and horrific death toll of smoking. Perhaps no more powerful statement can be made about the psychoactive and addictive effects of nicotine than a reminder that most of the millions of persons in the United States who use nicotine are aware of the health risks and yet continue to use tobacco. In some populations, notably among adolescents, nicotine use is increasing rather than decreasing, despite legislative, educational, and societal efforts to the contrary. Among U.S. youth, smokeless tobacco use is now so common that one fourth of white high-school-age males report current use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 1996b). Some factors such as education influence nicotine use; nearly 46% of U.S. males who did not graduate from high school are smokers. Nearly one third of women with comparable education are smokers. Nonetheless, more than 1 in 10 adults with a college education are smokers (CDC, 1996a). Why, when the risks are so great, do so many people start smoking and keep smoking?


Smoking Cessation Smokeless Tobacco Addictive Behavior Nicotine Withdrawal Tobacco User 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Brigham
    • 1
  1. 1.SRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA

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