EEG effects of conventional and denicotinized cigarettes in a spaced smoking paradigm

Wallace B. Pickworth, Elizabeth D. O'Hare, Reginald V. Fant, Eric T. Moolchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although there is a documented association between plasma nicotine levels and smoking behavior, recent studies indicate that denicotinized cigarettes reduced craving and symptoms of tobacco withdrawal. Denicotinized cigarettes (that deliver tar but insignificant amounts of nicotine) and conventional cigarettes were compared in a within-subject spaced smoking study. In six sessions, subjects (n=10) smoked denicotinized cigarettes or conventional cigarettes every 30, 60 or 240min (8, 4 or 1 cigarette(s)). EEG effects of the last cigarette of each session were deduced by comparisons with EEG recordings collected before smoking. Conventional cigarettes increased spectral edge EEG frequency, decreased θ power and increased β1 power. Denicotinized cigarettes decreased spectral frequency. The EEG effects of both cigarettes depended upon the recentness of smoking. The results indicate that nicotine delivery, recentness and the process of smoking importantly influence the EEG; other, non-nicotine components of tobacco smoke may also exert EEG effects. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Denicotinized cigarettes
  • EEG
  • Electrocortical
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Placebo cigarettes
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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