Objective: Focussing on ever-smokers and comparing nicotine-dependent with nondependent subjects, we examined the characteristics, associations of nicotine dependence with other mental disorders as well as predictors of nicotine dependence. Never-smokers were not included in the reference group of the nondependent subjects, but were analyzed as a third group. Methods: Data of 1,636 never-smokers and 2,437 ever-smokers (i.e. 1,520 current smokers, 917 former smokers) were taken from the German Transitions in Alcohol Consumption and Smoking Study. Assessments were made using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Results: About a third of the ever-smokers met the criteria for nicotine dependence in some point in their lives. Nicotine-dependent smoking was significantly associated with various substance use disorders, affective disorders and anxiety disorders using nondependent smoking as a reference group. Comparing never-smokers and nondependent ever-smokers, significant associations were found for substance use disorders only. Smoking behavior variables, alcohol abuse or dependence and anxiety disorders but not sociodemographic variables and affective disorders were predictors for nicotine dependence. Conclusion: Nicotine-dependent smoking is distinct from smoking alone and nicotine-dependent smokers are a characteristically different subgroup within the smoking population.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)