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Major depressive disorder
Seasonal affective disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder
Body focused repetitive disorders
Body dysmorphic disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Physical and sexual abuse
Cluster A personality disorders
Cluster B personality disorders
Cluster C personality disorders
Somatic symptom disorder
Alcohol use disorder
Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder
Female sexual interest and arousal disorder
Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Autism spectrum disorder
Shaken baby syndrome
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Mood disorders: Pathology review
Amnesia, dissociative disorders and delirium: Pathology review
Personality disorders: Pathology review
Eating disorders: Pathology review
Psychological sleep disorders: Pathology review
Psychiatric emergencies: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Hallucinogens: Pathology review
Malingering, factitious disorders and somatoform disorders: Pathology review
Anxiety disorders, phobias and stress-related disorders: Pathology Review
Trauma- and stress-related disorders: Pathology review
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Stimulants: Pathology review
Drug misuse, intoxication and withdrawal: Alcohol: Pathology review
Developmental and learning disorders: Pathology review
Childhood and early-onset psychological disorders: Pathology review
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Kelly Mackenzie, MA
Tanner Marshall, MSVincent Waldman, PhD
There are over a billion people who smoke tobacco around the world, which makes it one of the most popular psychoactive substances used in society.
The majority of tobacco users smoke cigarettes, but some smoke cigars or pipes, chew tobacco, or practice snuffing, which is where ground-up tobacco leaves are pushed up the nose.
Given the popularity of tobacco as well as its negative health consequences, it’s considered one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease worldwide.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 toxic chemicals.
These toxins cause endothelial cell damage which creates inflammation along the inner lining of arteries.
The inflammation increases the risk of having a myocardial infarction (or heart attack), a stroke, and peripheral vascular disease which causes severe pain in the lower legs.
The toxins in cigarette smoke can also cause pulmonary problems when they’re deposited into the lungs, as they damage the lung tissue and increase the likelihood of developing a lung infection.
Finally, cigarette smoke contains many different carcinogens including ammonia, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, all of which are associated with cancers of the mouth, throat, lung, bladder, pancreas, and uterus.
Combining these effects, a heavy smoker who smokes two packs of cigarettes each day for 20 years loses about 14 years of life.
Despite the negative consequences of smoking, most people continue to smoke because tobacco contains nicotine, a tiny, fat-soluble molecule that creates pleasurable psychoactive effects and is extremely addictive.
Nicotine is considered “responsible” for the high rates of tobacco dependence and addiction, while the 4,000 other chemicals and compounds are “responsible” for the negative health effects associated with smoking.
Tobacco dependence, also known as nicotine dependence, is a chronic addiction to nicotine, a substance found in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, which creates a pleasurable sensation and reinforces the behavior of smoking, leading to dependence.
Symptoms of tobacco dependence may include strong cravings for nicotine, difficulty quitting, withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating, and a continued use of tobacco despite negative consequences on health, social life, or finances.
Tobacco dependence is a serious health concern and increases the risk for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer). Treatment for tobacco dependence includes nicotine replacement therapy, medications such as bupropion or varenicline, and counseling or support groups.
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