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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Aug;9(3):243-50.

Reinforcing effects of nicotine as a function of smoking status.

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  • 1Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The authors compared acute nicotine self-administration among 4 groups varying in current or past dependence: dependent smokers, nondependent smokers, ex-smokers who had quit at least 1 year ago, and nonsmokers. Nicotine (0 vs. 12 microg/kg/8 sprays) available by nasal spray was self-administered with a choice procedure. Self-administration also was related to participant characteristics (sex, alcohol and caffeine intake, sensation-seeking score) and to subjective responses to initial nicotine spray exposure. Nicotine self-administration was similar between dependent and nondependent smokers but was greater in those groups than in ex-smokers and nonsmokers, who did not differ from each other. Self-administration was unrelated to most other participant characteristics. In nonsmokers, self-administration was related directly to pleasurable effects but inversely to aversive effects. Few effects were related to self-administration in the other groups.

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