The effects of cigarette smoking on the perception of electrical stimulation and cold pressor pain

Addict Behav. 1986;11(4):447-51. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(86)90026-2.


Prior research has attempted to delineate the effects of cigarette smoking on pain. However, there has been little consensus among findings. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to provide a more carefully controlled evaluation of the effects of cigarette smoking on pain. Specifically, the effects of cigarette smoking on two pain tasks (electrical stimulation and cold pressor) were assessed via three primary response measures: pain threshold, pain tolerance and McGill Pain Questionnaire scores. The results of this study indicated that cigarette smoking did not affect subsequent ratings on any of the response measures for either cold pressor or electrical stimulation tasks. These data are integrated with those of previous research and hypotheses are proposed regarding specific factors responsible for the conflicting findings of studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cold Temperature
  • Electroshock
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Smoking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires