Purpose: Smoking is the most widespread addictive behaviour in the world, as it causes physical and psychological dependence on nicotine. The objective of the present study was to discern the prevalence and the relative risks of nicotine dependence of adult people in Athens, Greece, as this country holds first place in cigarette consumption in the European Union. Materials and Methods: A random sample of 202 current smokers (82 men and 120 women) was drawn from residents aged v 18 years in Athens, the capital of Greece. A questionnaire on the physical (Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence) and psychological (American Psychiatric Associations diagnostic criteria of nicotine abuse) nicotine dependence was used. Results: According to the results of the present study, 12.4% of the sample reported null physical nicotine dependence, and 31.7% had low, 25.7% had moderate and 30.2% had high nicotine dependence. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that younger people (aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34, odds ratio [OR] = 0.047, P u 0.033 and OR = 0.096, P u 0.038, respectively) were less prone to developing physical dependence. Women tended to be systematically less dependent than men (25% and 37.8% high dependence, respectively). Furthermore, 75.7% of the sample had psychological nicotine dependence. Binary logistic regression analysis and chi-square test revealed that younger people (18- to 24-year-olds, OR = 0.081, P u 0.008) and individuals of inferior education (v2 = 7.826, P u 0.05) were less prone to develop psychological dependence. In addition, women showed a higher percentage of withdrawal symptoms compared with men (80% and 68%, respectively). Conclusions: The results of the present study provided compelling evidence that physical and, in particular, psychological nicotine dependence of adult people in Athens, Greece, was significant, and this calls for a course of action that should be taken by public health policy-makers to reduce smoke consumption.
Keywords: clinician, nicotine physical/psychological dependence, smoking, smoking cessation