Chapter

The physiological and psychological effects of smoking

Edited by Keir E. Lewis

in Smoking Cessation

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199556250
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199607327 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199556250.003.0002

Series: Oxford Respiratory Medicine Library

The physiological and psychological effects of smoking

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• Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals including arsenic, paint stripper, and at least 60 carcinogens. • Smoking adversely affects every organ system in the body. • Most smoking-related deaths are from lung and heart diseases. • Particular sub-groups with high-smoking prevalence are those on lower income and certain ethnic minorities. • Nicotine acts on cholinergic and mesolimbic (dopaminergic) central nervous system pathways. • The α4β2 nicotinic receptor sub-type is the main receptor mediating nicotine dependence. • Repeat exposure to nicotine causes neuro-adaptation often resulting in tolerance; this leads to more smoking for the same pleasurable effect and more smoking needed to avoid withdrawal. • Health benefits start within 24 hrs of stopping smoking.

Chapter.  2048 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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