Tobacco-Related Disorders

Mary E. McCaul, Ph.D., Heidi E. Hutton, Ph.D.


  • Tobacco use disorder is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physical characteristics that occur in persons who are regular cigarette smokers or users of other tobacco products.
  • Nicotine is the active ingredient in tobacco that triggers dopamine release and leads to the pleasurable effects of smoking.
    • Chronic nicotine exposure results in tolerance and physical dependence.

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Last updated: May 2, 2017