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Revista chilena de enfermedades respiratorias

versión On-line ISSN 0717-7348


CORVALAN B., María Paz. Smoking, an addiction. Rev. chil. enferm. respir. [online]. 2017, vol.33, n.3, pp.186-189. ISSN 0717-7348.

Smoking is a risk factor and at the same time a complex addiction with physical, psychological and social components. Addiction is the compulsive need to re-consume a drug to experience its effects, in the case of nicotine, stimulation, euphoria, pleasure, increased attention concentration and memory, plus decreased anxiety, stress and appetite. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V) lists smoking as an addiction, nicotine is one of the most addictive existing drugs, along with cocaine and heroin, and it takes 10 seconds to reach the brain when people smokes. Nicotine is related to different neurotransmission systems in the central nervous system, it is an agonist of acetylcholine α4β2 receptors, being the receptor-neurotransmitter junction of high sensitivity. The most important neurophysiological pathways involved in nicotine dependence are dopaminergic (most important), noradrenergic, GABA-ergic, glutamatergic and endocannabinoid. Abstinence syndrome is a basic characteristic of addiction, and is a set of physical and psychological symptoms and signs that appear because of interruption, reduction, or smoking cessation. Abstinence syndrome occurs as a consequence of several factors: decreased plasma cortisol levels, decreased levels of noradrenaline in the Locus Coeruleous and mainly decreased dopamine levels in Nucleous Accumbens.

Palabras clave : Smoking; tobacco use disorder; behavior addictive; neurotransmitter agents.

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