Nicotine dependence - A preventable risk factor for other diseases

Caroline Cohen, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nicotine meets all critical criteria for an addictive drug. Furthermore, there is no evidence that there would be wide-spread compulsive use of tobacco without nicotine. These findings have led to consideration of the cigarette as a contaminated vehicle for an addictive drug (nicotine). Nevertheless, nicotine itself may also be used therapeutically to reduce exposure to carcinogens and other tobacco toxins. Nicotine replacement is a useful adjunct in treating tobacco dependence. For example, nicotine replacement in the form of a polacrilex resin (chewing gum) can alleviate physically based signs and symptoms of tobacco abstinence. The fact that this form of nicotine replacement is not attractive to non-users of tobacco has opened the door to the use of nicotine in a therapeutic modality, permitting hope of eliminating tobacco dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number2 Supplement
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • addiction
  • nicotine
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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