Performance, subjective, and physiological effects of nicotine in non-smokers

Stephen J. Heishman, Frederick R. Snyder, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Sixteen human volunteers with little or no experience using tobacco participated in one 4.5-h experimental session in which they were administered three doses of nicotine polacrilex gum (0, 2 and 4 mg) in ascending order at 90-min intervals. Physiological, subjective, and cognitive performance measures were assessed before and after each dose. Nicotine produced dose-related increases in heart rate and blood pressure and decreases in skin temperature. Nicotine also increased subjective ratings of dose strength and negative effects and decreased ratings of desire to repeat the same dose. There were dose-related trends toward decreased accuracy and increased response time on 3 of the 4 cognitive tests. These data do not support the hypothesis that nicotine enhances cognitive functioning in non-smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive performance
  • Humans
  • Nicotine
  • Non-smokers
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)


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