First Cigarette May Change Teens' Brains and Behavior

The adolescent brain appears to be more responsive to nicotine's rewarding effects than the adult brain, and the first exposure to nicotine during teen years changes subsequent behavioral responses to the drug. The study is the first of its kind to show the rapid changes in the brain and behavior of adolescents after just a single administration of nicotine. In other words, the first cigarette feels rewarding to teens and may actually increase their sensitivity to the drug, making them more prone to keep smoking. As with all addictions, the easiest way to rid yourself of them is to never start. The plans for significant increases in cigarette taxes may also dissuade you from this habit.

Psychopharmacology January 22, 2004

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