Activity in the striatum of people who smoke changed less in response to positive feedback/reward than in nonsmokers; this effect was more pronounced with greater addiction severity. Activity of the habenula was linked to nicotine withdrawal/craving and was reduced by nicotine administration in people who smoke.
International research teams analyzed several hundred thousand samples from 17 whole-exome sequencing studies to identify rare gene variants associated with smoking and alcohol use. They identified rare variants in 117 DNA regions as being associated with specific aspects of nicotine and alcohol use, including some in genes already known to influence these traits.
Rats with a disrupted transcription factor 7-like 2 (Tcf7l2) gene in the medial habenula showed markedly greater nicotine intake than control rats. Reduced Tcf7l2 expression in the medial habenula reduced the normally observed increase in blood sugar in response to nicotine.
People's decisions to use e-cigarettes, as well as perceptions about associated risks, are influenced by the e-cigarettes' nicotine levels and available flavors. The influence of these characteristics on decision-making and perceived risk differs between people who smoke cigarettes and people who do not smoke.
The number of children (ages 3 to 11 years) in the United States who are exposed to tobacco smoke decreased steadily from 1999 to 2014. However, childhood tobacco smoke exposure differs among sociodemographic groups.
This research suggests that:
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E-cigarettes are not an effective tool to reduce combustible-cigarette smoking, two NIDA-supported studies indicate.