Addicted from the First Hit

Many alcoholics say they were drinking alcoholically from their first drink. This study of nicotine addiction gives indications that the process may be similar.

First Response to Nicotine Can Predict Addiction.

The juvenile brain’s first response to its first cigarette can be a telltale sign of whether a young smoker is at risk of addiction, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Reuters reported Oct. 1 that researcher Joseph DiFranza and colleagues said that adolescents who get a feeling of relaxation after taking their first few drags on a cigarette are likely more susceptible to the effects of nicotine and more at risk of becoming addicted to the drug.

“We know that nicotine can have an immediate impact on the brain, and yet we also know that not every adolescent who tries a cigarette gets hooked,” said DiFranza.

an initial sensation of relaxation was the strongest [predictor to addiction]

Researchers studied a number of predictors of nicotine addiction among 1,000 teens attending schools in Massachusetts, and found that an initial sensation of relaxation was the strongest. Others risk factors for addiction included a depressed mood, novelty-seeking personality, and familiarity with cigarette advertising.

The research was published in the October 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Research Reference: DiFranza, J.R., et al. (2007) Susceptibility to Nicotine Dependence: The Development and Assessment of Nicotine Dependence in Youth 2 Study. Pediatrics, 120(4).
From Join Together.
          How to Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight
by The American Lung Association

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