Book Section 1)
This chapter discusses cognitive, affective, and motivational effects of smoking. The individual differences at genetic, personality, affective, and cognitive levels relate to the development of dependence and influence the effects of pharmacological and psychological interventions. It is found that smokers obtain benefits from nicotine, relative to their functioning when acutely abstinent, on attention, vigilance, response inhibition, and working memory. A strong candidate explanation for some aspects of the dysphoria associated with nicotine abstinence in smokers lies in the hypofunctioning of reward pathways. It is suggested that the complex pharmacological effects produced by smoking, and conversely by abstinence, differ depending on biological factors that influence their form, speed, or duration. Interventions range from those that focus on specific deficits or abnormalities to broad spectrum approaches including counseling and environmental controls. It is suggested that sufficiently detailed information about the mechanisms of action of different treatments in terms of their impact on cognitive and behavioral processes mediating outcome could accelerate the design of synergistic treatment combinations, which between them address the profile of deficits shown by particular subgroups of smokers.