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Wien Med Wochenschr. 1995;145(4):70-3.

[Psychological and physiological dependence in smokers and there effect on motivation for smoking cessation].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Sozialmedizin, Universität Wien.


The typical onset of cigarette smoking is determined on various psychological and social factors. The period of experimental smoking may be followed by habituation. Habituation involves development of skill in inhalation and regulation of nicotine dose, becoming accustomed to the mood-altering and other pharmacologic effects of nicotine, and development of a pattern of conditioned reinforcement from smoking. Many smokers continue to smoke because nicotine helps them to regulate mood. The nicotine intake leads promptly and noticeable to pleasant, desired psychotropic effects. In the event of physical dependence, the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms results in renewed nicotine intake. Psychological and physiological dependence could be very different among smokers and this has important implications on the motivation for smoking cessation. Using the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) to assess nicotine dependence in a population 6.000 randomly selected Austrians were interviewed. 42% of men and 27% of women were found to be smokers. 3 groups of smokers differing in dependence can be described: 36.5% are nicotine addicted; 30.2% must be psychosocial dependent because they show nearly no sign of nicotine dependence; and there is a group between, difficult to classify them as more psychological or more nicotine addicted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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