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Tobacco and Nicotine 

Tobacco and Nicotine
Chapter:
Tobacco and Nicotine
Author(s):

Darius A. Rastegar

and Michael I. Fingerhood

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214647.003.0007
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date: 09 April 2020

Nicotine is a mild stimulant and is responsible for the habit-forming effects of tobacco. Withdrawal symptoms include craving, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, and increased appetite. While there is minimal risk of acute toxicity with tobacco, smoking is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. There are many medical conditions associated with tobacco use (particularly smoking), including cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, respiratory tract infections, and a variety of malignancies, most prominently lung cancer. Patients should be routinely asked if they smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. A number of interventions can help increase smoking cessation rates, including physician advice, counseling, nicotine replacement, varenicline, and antidepressants (bupropion and nortriptyline). Electronic cigarettes may also help smokers quit or reduce their smoking.

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