Letter: Addictive despite the ex-smokers

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Sir: As a pharmacologist I cannot understand Clive Turner's difficulty in accepting the addictive nature of tobacco merely by virtue of the fact that there are a lot of ex-smokers in this country (Letters, 5 September). There are a lot of ex-drinkers in this country, so would he also claim that alcohol is non-addictive?

The fact that not everyone who smokes or drinks, or is prescribed opiates, becomes addicted does not alter the fact that all these drugs are capable of causing addiction or physical dependence. The risk of addiction is directly related to the frequency of use and the quantity consumed. The existence of ex-users is quite irrelevant to the question of addiction.


Department of Pharmacology

School of Medical Sciences

University of Bristol