Acute responses to smoking are influenced by nicotine and by nonpharmacological factors such as nicotine dose expectancy and sensory effects of smoke inhalation. Because negative mood increases smoking reinforcement, the authors examined whether these effects may be altered by mood context. Smokers (n=200) participated in 2 sessions, negative or positive mood induction, and were randomized to 1 of 5 groups. Four groups comprised the 2x2 balanced placebo design, varying actual (0.6 mg vs. 0.05 mg yield) and expected nicotine dose (expected nicotine vs. denicotinized [denic]) of cigarettes. A fifth group was a no-smoking control. Smoking, versus not smoking, attenuated negative affect, as well as withdrawal and craving. Negative mood increased smoking reinforcement. However, neither actual nor expected nicotine dose had much influence on these responses; even those smokers receiving and expecting a denic cigarette reported attenuated negative affect. A follow-up comparison suggested that the sensory effects of smoke inhalation, but not the simple motor effects of smoking behavior, were responsible. Thus, sensory effects of smoke inhalation had a greater influence on relieving negative affect than actual or expected nicotine intake.
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