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February 23, 1994

Nicotine Don't Get No Respect

Author Affiliations

The University of Vermont Burlington

JAMA. 1994;271(8):585. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510320025015

To the Editor.  —One focus of health care reform has been the allocation of resources to prevent and treat drug dependence. In this debate we believe that most clinicians, policymakers, and scientists are overlooking the most prevalent, most costly, and most deadly of the drug dependencies, ie, nicotine dependence.To test this belief empirically, we recently surveyed the most recent issues of six peer-reviewed scientific journals on drug abuse (Table). The journals chosen were those with large circulations or scientific impact in the field according to Science Citation Index. For each journal we searched for the 15 most recent articles the titles of which referred to a study on drug abuse, dependence, or use without specifying a certain drug or class of drugs. Within these generic drug abuse articles, we then searched for any mention of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, or opioids.Nicotine was consistently the least likely of these

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