A Critique of Nicotine Addiction (Neurobiological Foundation by Hanan Frenk

By Hanan Frenk

Nicotine is nearly universally believed to be the most important issue that motivates smoking and impedes cessation. experts comparable to the physician normal of america and the Royal collage of Physicians within the united kingdom have declared that nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. This ebook is a critique of the nicotine habit speculation, in accordance with a severe evaluate of the learn literature that purports to turn out that nicotine is as addictive drug. The overview is predicated on a second look of greater than seven hundred articles and books in this topic, together with animal and human experimental reports, results of `nicotine alternative therapies', and lots of different suitable assets. This evaluation concludes that on current proof, there's each cause to reject the widely permitted concept that nicotine has an immense position in cigarette smoking. A severe exam of the factors for drug dependancy demonstrates that none of those standards is met by means of nicotine, and that it truly is more likely that nicotine in truth limits particularly than allows smoking.

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Extra resources for A Critique of Nicotine Addiction (Neurobiological Foundation of Aberrant Behaviors)

Sample text

In the first class, the psychoactive properties of the drugs play only a minor role. Examples are moderate and discriminating Chapter 3 32 consumption of wine and of coffee or tea. Although the psychoactive drugs contained in these beverages contribute to the user’s pleasure, their contribution is a minor one. Typically, taste and smell are more rewarding than the psychoactive effects of the drug. This is evident from the “gourmet” cult that generally develops around these beverages. The wine connoisseur makes fine discriminations between different wines, and has preferences for very specific ones.

As we saw, these habits share essential features with drug addictions, including craving, persistence despite negative consequences, withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and a high probability of relapse. Habits that do involve consumption of psychoactive drugs can be divided into three classes. In the first class, the psychoactive properties of the drugs play only a minor role. Examples are moderate and discriminating Chapter 3 32 consumption of wine and of coffee or tea.

Second, psychoactivity is very weakly related to drug dependence. Some medications on which the user is dependent in the strongest sense of the word – without it he or she might die – are not known to have significant psychoactive effects. Insulin preserves the life of people with diabetes mellitus, and alpha-blockers reduce high blood pressure. Is there doubt that people who use these medications are at least as drug-dependent – scientifically if not morally – as are cigarette smokers? Finally, the Surgeon General does not specify that the psychoactive effects are the reason for which the drug is taken.

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