, Volume 100, Issue 4, pp 535-541

Effects of nicotine gum on psychomotor performance in smokers and non-smokers

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Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of nicotine on human performance. In the first study six smokers, who had been allowed to smoke normally prior to testing, completed a battery of psychometric tests (choice reaction time, memory scanning, tracking and flicker fusion threshold) at set points over 4 h after chewing 0, 2, or 4 mg nicotine polacrilex gum. A second study followed a similar design, but used five non-smoker volunteers who were required to chew only the 0 or 2 mg nicotine gum. Blood nicotine levels following the gum were measured in all subjects. The results indicate that additional nicotine improved both the speed and accuracy of motor activity among the smokers, but did not enhance central cognitive processes. No drug effects were found in the non-smoker study.