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Effects of nicotine deprivation on urges to drink and smoke in alcoholic smokers

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This study examined the effect of nicotine deprivation on alcohol and smoking urges in a sample of alcohol-dependent smokers in early recovery. Design 

Using a within-subjects design, participants underwent two cue-reactivity laboratory sessions in which they rated their urges for alcohol and cigarettes during the following three trials: baseline, neutral cue and mood induction combined with alcohol beverage cue exposure. One session was completed after 34 hours of nicotine deprivation and another in a non-deprived state. Participants 

Forty alcohol-dependent heavy smokers recruited from a substance abuse day treatment program. Measurements 

Self-reported urge to drink, urge to smoke and salivation. Findings 

Results showed that during the non-deprived session, alcohol cue presentations were associated with significant increases in urges to drink and urges to smoke. Acute nicotine deprivation led to increased smoking urges, but was not associated with increased urges to drink alcohol. Conclusions 

 Findings suggest that the acute effects of smoking cessation are unlikely to increase risk of relapse to alcohol in alcoholic patients who are undergoing treatment.

Keywords: Alcohol–tobacco interaction; alcohol urges; cue reactivity; nicotine deprivation; tobacco interaction; tobacco use

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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