Nicotine dependence is characterized by both tolerance and withdrawal symptoms in relation to nicotine use. Nicotine dependence can occur with cigarette smoking, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar or pipe smoking. For the purposes of this chapter, the phrases “quitting smoking” will be used to represent complete abstinence from tobacco products, and “success” will be used to represent lifetime abstinence.Nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that keeps you smoking. When nicotine enters your body, it increases the release of brain chemicals that help regulate behavior and mood.
Current smokers were more likely to be younger (18 to 34 years old), males, Malay and have lower education, whilst males had a 4.6 times higher risk of nicotine dependence to that of females. The prevalence of nicotine dependence was also higher in those with alcohol abuse and those experiencing chronic pain. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine, and it has the paradoxical effects of being a stimulant and a depressant. Girls and women are more likely to smoke to control their weight than males are, and they tend to gain more weight after quitting smoking. Female smokers also derive greater subjective pleasurable effects from nicotine than males who smoke.