, Volume 82, Issue 1-2, pp 1-5

Effects of ethanol on cigarette smoking by volunteers without histories of alcoholism

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The effects of ethanol on cigarette smoking were assessed in volunteer research subjects who had histories of light to moderate social drinking. Five subjects participated individually in daily 90-min sessions that were conducted in rooms equipped to permit automatic monitoring of cigarette smoking behavior. Each subject was tested at four dose levels of ethanol and placebo, which were given orally on a double-blind basis, 30 min prior to sessions. Dose order was according to a random block sequence in which each dose was given in each of five blocks of five sessions. Data from five alcoholic subjects who were similarly tested at only one ethanol dose level were used for comparison. For the nonalcoholic group, ethanol doses that produced reliable changes in group scores on various psychometric instruments produced no significant change in smoking behavior. there were differences among the nonalcoholic subjects, however, in that smoking was significantly decreased by ethanol in two subjects, was increased by ethanol in two subjects, and was unchanged in the fifth subject. For the alcoholic group, ethanol produced reliable changes in psychometric measures and significant increases in cigarette smoking. Within- and between-group analyses of results suggest that the effect of ethanol on cigarette smoking may be related to prior history of alcoholic beverage consumption.