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Cogswell, Betty E. (1995). Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms: A Review for Primary Care Practitioners. North Carolina Medical Journal, 56(1), 40-45.


Many people have tried to quit smoking but not succeeded, often because they are addicted to nicotine.' Nicotine addiction is thought to be due to the interplay of multiple factors that heighten the appeal of smoking. These factors include pharmacological effects, learned or conditioned behaviors, moods, social cues and settings, and socioeconomic factors. During the past three to five years, investigators and clinicians have recognized that nicotine's biological effects reinforce learned smoking behaviors and make them resistant to change. Learned behaviors are conditioned by cues or stimuli inherent in the daily life of smokers. Craving for cigarettes occurs during withdrawal in 80%-90% of smokers, but desire to smoke may be more dependent on circumstances, settings, activities, and emotions associated with previous smoking than on blood nicotine levels.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

North Carolina Medical Journal


Cogswell, Betty E.