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Although cigarette smoking in the United States has been closely monitored, little is known about the epidemiology of nicotine dependence. Using data from the National Comorbidity Survey, Breslau et alArticle report that 50% of persons who had ever smoked daily for a month or more met DSM-III-R criteria for nicotine dependence, and that dependence increased by more than twofold the risk for smoking persistence.
A commentary by Hughes Article is included.
A high rate of smoking and a low rate of smoking cessation among individuals with depression implicate cigarette smoking as a form of self-medication. Klimek et alArticle present evidence that long-term smoking produces biological changes in neurons containing the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the human brain. Alterations observed in these neurons are similar to changes produced experimentally in laboratory animals treated with long-term antidepressant drugs, and the converse of some abnormalities observed in major depression.
This Month in Archives of General Psychiatry. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(9):809. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.58.9.809
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