Cognitive and psychological correlates of smoking abstinence, and predictors of successful cessation

Powell, Jane H.; Pickering, Alan; Dawkins, Lynne; West, Robert and Powell, John F.. 2004. Cognitive and psychological correlates of smoking abstinence, and predictors of successful cessation. Addictive Behaviors, 29(7), pp. 1407-1426. ISSN 03064603 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The neural circuitry implicated in addictive drug use, which appears to be down-regulated in early abstinence, corresponds closely with brain reward pathways. A literature review suggests that responses to incentive stimuli and the ability to inhibit reflexive responses, both of which have been associated with normal functioning in these pathways, might be weakened during acute abstinence from chronic drug use. In an ongoing study, 82 smokers, abstinent overnight before two separate testing occasions, have been assessed after administration of nicotine and placebo lozenges (order of sessions counterbalanced). Nicotine administration is associated with a significant reduction in anhedonia, a near-significant increase in response to financial incentive, enhanced ability to inhibit reflexive eye movements, and increased attentional bias to words with appetitive significance. Fifty-nine participants then initiated a quit attempt and 19 reported relapsing within 7 days. Comparing their performance in the two prequit lozenge assessment sessions, relapsers showed a stronger effect of nicotine on enhancing their ability to inhibit reflexive eye movements and a near-significant trend towards greater nicotine-induced increases in attentional bias toward appetitive words.

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Date Deposited:

28 Mar 2011 12:53

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 10:39

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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