DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description)
Nicotine is a powerful addictive drug, and cessation is complicated by the
positively and negatively effects of nicotine. The decision to stop smoking
involves choosing a delayed positive benefit, improved health, over the
immediately reinforcing effects of smoking. Research on other drugs of abuse
has shown that drug abusers discount future positive benefits in relationship
to current alternatives more than non-drug abusers, and this phenomena has
recently been extended to smokers. This grant is designed to evaluate factors
that may increase the reinforcing value of smoking, and thus increase the
discounting of future benefits of not smoking. The first study is designed to
examine the dose-response relationship between nicotine deprivation and
discounting contrasting no deprivation with 24, 48 and 96 hours of
deprivation. In the second study we will examine the relationship between
nicotine dependence and discounting in three groups, chippers, light and heavy
smokers, with the prediction that heavy smokers will discount future rewards
at higher rates than light smokers, and light smokers will discount more than
chippers. In addition, we will relate the absolute reinforcing value of
smoking, as determined from responding on progressive ratio schedules of
reinforcement, to discounting, with the prediction that thc higher the
reinforcing value of smoking, the greater the rate of discounting future
benefits. These studies are designed to identify determinants of discounting
in smokers, and will provide a better understanding of factors that may be
important for maintaining cessation.
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