Nicotine and non-nicotine smoking factors differentially modulate craving, withdrawal and cerebral blood flow as measured with arterial spin labeling.
Smoking cessation results in withdrawal symptoms such as craving and negative mood that may contribute to lapse and relapse. Little is known regarding whether these symptoms are associated with the nicotine or non-nicotine components of cigarette smoke. Using arterial spin labeling, we measured resting-state cerebral blood flow (CBF) in 29 adult smokers across four conditions: (1) nicotine patch+denicotinized cigarette smoking, (2) nicotine patch+abstinence from smoking, (3) placebo patch+denicotinized cigarette smoking, and (4) placebo patch+abstinence from smoking. We found that changes in self-reported craving positively correlated with changes in CBF from the denicotinized cigarette smoking conditions to the abstinent conditions. These correlations were found in several regions throughout the brain. Self-reported craving also increased from the nicotine to the placebo conditions, but had a minimal relationship with changes in CBF. The results of this study suggest that the non-nicotine components of cigarette smoke significantly impact withdrawal symptoms and associated brain areas, independently of the effects of nicotine. As such, the effects of non-nicotine factors are important to consider in the design and development of smoking cessation interventions and tobacco regulation.
Addicott, MA; Froeliger, B; Kozink, RV; Van Wert, DM; Westman, EC; Rose, JE; McClernon, FJ
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