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NIDA Notes Articles: Smoking

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Abstinent Smokers' Nicotinic Receptors Take More Than a Month to Normalize

October 2009

Describes research revealing that for up to 6 weeks after smokers quit, their brain cells have more nicotine-binding receptors than nonsmokers, which may explain the struggle to quit.

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Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders

February 2007

Presents an overview of the research underway to investigate medication and behavioral therapies for co-occurring disorders.

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Adolescent Cigarette, Alcohol Use Declines as Marijuana Use Rises

February 2013

Fewer teens are using cigarettes, alcohol, and most illicit drugs, according to NIDA’s latest Monitoring the Future study. Troubling  trends persist in marijuana use, however, and nonmedical prescription drug use remains a concern.

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Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows

July 2012
Rates of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking stood at historic lows in 2011, but marijuana use trended upward, according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.

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Behavioral Problems Related to Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Manifest Early in Childhood

June 2008

Describes research providing evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy contributes to behavioral conduct disorders among toddlers, school-age children, and teens.

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Cognitive Strategy Reduces Craving by Altering Brain Activity

April 2012

While viewing images of cigarettes, smokers reported milder cravings when they shifted their focus from the pleasures of smoking to its harmful effects. Brain imaging showed a correlation between the reductions in craving and altered activity levels in regions associated with emotional regulation and reward.

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Combination Therapy Most Effective for Helping Smokers Quit

March 2011

Examines results from a randomized clinical trial which found that treatment with a nicotine patch and nicotine lozenge together produced the greatest benefits in helping people quit smoking and remain abstinent.

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Damage to Brain Area May Immediately Halt Cigarette Addiction

April 2009

Describes a study among people who had sustained brain injuries to investigate whether certain damaged areas of the brain are associated with the ability to quit smoking.

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Desire to Smoke Subsides, But Cigarette Cues Retain Power

April 2012

During early abstinence, smokers’ cravings triggered by cigarette cues intensified over time, providing evidence that people can experience a phenomenon previously observed in experiments with animals

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Ethnic Groups Have Contrasting Genetic Risks for Nicotine Addiction

October 2009

Describes research exploring differences and similarities in the genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

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