Effects of nicotine administration following 12 h of tobacco deprivation: assessment on computerized performance tasks

Frederick R. Snyder, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of acute nitotine administration, following a 12-h cigarette deprivation period, using a computerized performance assessment battery (PAB). The PAB was comprised of five tasks which were selected to reflect a variety of complex acquired behaviors, sometimes referred to as "cognitive performance". Subjects were six healthy, male, cigarette smokers who practiced on the approximately 15 min PAB until their performance was stable across trials. In the training and baseline phase, subjects were tested following 5-30 min deprivation of cigarettes. Subjects were then tested following 12 h cigarette deprivation; 20 min before these sessions, subjects were given one piece of gum to chew. The gum contained 0, 2, or 4 mg nicotine, and it was chewed for 10 min at a rate of one chew every 2 s. There were two main findings: (1) when placebo (0 mg) gum was given, the time taken to complete the PAB tasks was significantly elevated above values obtained in the baseline condition; (2) compared to placebo, nicotine administration produced a dose-related decrease in the time taken to complete the tasks such that with either 2 or 4 mg, performance time was similar to that which occurred in the baseline cigarette smoking condition. Performance accuracy was not reliably affected by the experimental manipulations. These data indicate that the performance decrements observed in the placebo condition were specific to deprivation of nicotine following 12 h tobacco abstinence and are treatable using nicotine gum as a replacement formulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989



  • Cigarette smoking
  • Nicotine gum
  • Treatment cognition
  • Withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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