Caffeine antagonizes EEG effects of tobacco withdrawal

Caroline Cohen, Wallace B. Pickworth, Edward B. Bunker, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Six current cigarette smokers and coffee drinkers were given combinations of 0, 150, or 300 mg caffeine and 0, 2, or 4 mg nicotine polacrilex following 12-h nicotine and caffeine abstinence. On one study day, subjects were allowed to smoke cigarettes and to drink caffeinated beverages and no drugs were given. Tobacco and caffeine abstinence impaired performance on the serial addition/subtraction and digit recall tasks; decreased scores on the MBG scale and ratings of "clear-headed" and "quick-witted", and increased ratingsof "irritability," "muscular tension," "headache," "drowsy," "clumsy," "feeble," and "dreamy." The deprivation caused characteristic EEG signs of nicotine withdrawal including increased theta power and decreased alpha frequency. These EEG effects were reversed by cigarette smoking and caffeine administration, but nicotine polacrilex was less effective. Deprivation-induced performance subjective measures were not change by administration of nicotine and caffeine combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-926
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Caffeine
  • EEG
  • Nicotine
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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