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Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2011;4:119-28. doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S14243. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Nicotine dependence and psychological distress: outcomes and clinical implications in smoking cessation.

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Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Florence.


Nicotine dependence is characteristically a chronic and relapsing disease. Although 75%-85% of smokers would like to quit, and one-third make at least three serious lifetime attempts, less than 50% of smokers succeed in stopping before the age of 60. Relevant and complex factors contributing to sustained cigarette consumption, and strongly implicated in the clinical management of smokers, are the level of nicotine dependence and psychological distress. In this review of the literature, these two factors will be examined in detail to show how they may affect smoking cessation outcome and to encourage clinicians to assess patients so they can offer tailored support in quitting smoking.


clinical management; nicotine dependence; psychological distress; quitting; smoking cessation

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