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Diseases related to tobacco use are prevalent throughout the world, resulting in more than 5 million deaths per year; in the US alone, annual tobacco-related mortality is ~400,000 and annual healthcare costs are estimated at $96 billion. Nicotine is the primary psychoactive component of tobacco, triggering behavioral responses such as reward and anxiety reduction. Identifying the biochemical mechanisms that underlie nicotine-related behaviors may help us to develop new potential treatments for nicotine dependence or smoking cessation aids.
Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 264 (2011).
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