Nicotine addiction and treatment.
The persistence of cigarette smoking despite widespread awareness of adverse health effects results from an underlying addiction to nicotine. Unaided attempts to quit smoking are generally unsuccessful. This article discusses nicotine addition and therapeutic techniques that have been or are being developed to relieve smoking withdrawal symptoms and promote abstinence from smoking. These techniques include nicotine chewing gum, skin patches, nasal sprays, and inhalers, as well as pharmacotherapies such as mecamylamine and clonidine, serotonergic treatments such as buspirone, and antidepressants such as buproprion. A nondrug approach using cigarette substitutes that mimic the airway sensations produced by cigarette smoke is also discussed.
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