Factors Governing Recruitment to and Maintenance of Smoking

  • J. F. Golding
  • G. L. Mangan


In attempting to identify factors underlying recruitment to and persistence of the smoking habit, an initial problem is that the particular motives identified may be relevant to one or the other phase, or to both. As we shall see in our discussion of theories about smoking, this introduces considerable overlap into an already confused area. A second problem of perhaps greater consequence is that all theories of smoking, with the possible exception of genetic theories, are pleasure seeking/reward theories. Thus, analysis of the nature of the rewards (and punishments) inherent in smoking inevitably leads to one or another of the theoretical models described below. From this point of view, the main difference between models lies in the emphasis given to the social, as opposed to pharmacological, rewards, and the exact nature of such rewards. Insofar as pharmacological reward inconcerned, consider, for example, the view proposed by addiction theory, that smokers gain their reward from relief of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, compared with that proposed by arousal modulation theory, that smokers enjoy positive reward from nicotine, which is employed as a mood control agent to maintain arousal level at a hypothetical optimum. This difference reflects the as yet unresolved debate in the animal learning literatures as to whether relief from punishment is equivalent to reward and is mediated by similar mechanisms (Gray, 1971). While such debates persist, it is obviously difficult to define precisely the role of nicotine in smoking maintenance.


Cigarette Smoking Smoking Behavior Social Learning Theory Contingent Negative Variation Skin Conductance Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Golding
    • 1
  • G. L. Mangan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacological Sciences The Medical SchoolUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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