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Addiction – Smoking

2. Internal Addiction Factors

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This lecture approaches three key internal factors in considering who develops an addiction: genetic vulnerability, personality, and stress. The discussion of genetic vulnerability begins by talking through how researchers find these differences, focusing on twin and family studies to isolate genetic from environmental influences. An important aspect of this research is the understanding that addiction factors can operate on different pathways, like initiation of smoking vs regularity of smoking. The lecture then moves on to introduce personality as a factor, discussing the impact of personality factors on both initiation and cessation of smoking. Lastly, the factor of stress is addressed, 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 (University of Bristol) explores addiction in the context of smoking and smoking cessation. The first lecture begins by outlining key physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of smoking, before exploring the fact that the positive outcomes of smoking may actually be simply an absence of these withdrawal symptoms. The following two lectures explore the internal and external factors which can influence the likelihood that someone may become addicted to a substance. The last two lectures 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 together the idea of understanding addiction as a disorder of learning.


Marcus Munafò is a professor of biological psychology 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 of 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.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

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

MLA style

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

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