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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 Aug;8(3):326-32.

Placebo cigarettes in smoking research.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


This review outlines the development and use of placebo cigarettes in smoking research. Research on effects of smoking has been disadvantaged by the lack of an adequate placebo condition. Recently, tobacco-based denicotinized cigarettes have been used in smoking research to distinguish effects of smoking due to the delivery of nicotine, other components of tobacco smoke, and the sensory process of smoking. Placebo cigarettes do not increase heart rate and blood pressure or produce electroencephalogram changes ordinarily associated with nicotine. However, placebo cigarettes reduce subjective measures of tobacco craving, desire to smoke, and tobacco withdrawal. These findings indicate that the effects of cigarette smoking are dependent on the delivery of nicotine, tar, other compounds of tobacco smoke, and the sensory stimuli. The next generation of research may begin to investigate the mechanisms that modulate these placebo effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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