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Addiction – Smoking

2. Internal Addiction Factors

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In this lecture, we approach three key internal factors for considering who develops an addiction – genetic vulnerability, personality, and stress, focusing in particular on: (i) genetic vulnerability, discussed through how researchers find these differences, exploring twin and family studies to isolate genetic from environmental influences; (iii) an important aspect of this research being the understanding that addiction factors can operate on different pathways, like initiation of smoking vs regularity of smoking; (iv) personality as a factor, discussing the impact of personality factors on both initiation and cessation of smoking; (v) the factor of stress, highlighting the difference in outcomes for acute and chronic stress, as well as revisiting the evidence for the relaxing feelings when smoking actually being the absence of withdrawal symptoms.


In this course, Professor Marcus Munafò explores addiction in the context of smoking and smoking cessation. In the first lecture, we think about some key physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of smoking, before exploring the fact that the positive outcomes of smoking may be simply an absence of these withdrawal symptoms. In the second and third lectures, we explore the internal and external factors which can influence the likelihood that someone may become addicted to a substance. In the fourth and fifth lectures, we continue this differentiation between internal and external factors, discussing internal, biological mechanisms of addiction and external, learning mechanisms. In his final note, Professor Munafò brings forward the idea of understanding addiction as a disorder of learning.


Marcus Munafò is a professor of biological psychology and associate pro vice-chancellor of research culture at the University of Bristol. Professor Munafò’s research is focused on understanding health behaviours related to tobacco and alcohol use, informing current debates on tobacco product packaging. With experience in an array of research methods, one of Professor Munafò’s other interests is in whether participant incentives in scientific experiments provide an optimal level of robustness and reproducibility. Some of Professor Munafò’s recent publications include ‘Acceptability of integrating smoking cessation treatment into routine care for people with mental illness’ (2022) and ‘Applying Mendelian randomization to appraise causality in relationships between nutrition and cancer’ (2022).

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APA style

Munafò, M. (2021, November 09). Addiction – Smoking - Internal Addiction Factors [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Munafò, M. "Addiction – Smoking – Internal Addiction Factors." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Nov 2021,

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