Psychopharmacology

, Volume 220, Issue 1, pp 155–161 | Cite as

The effects of acute doses of nicotine on video lottery terminal gambling in daily smokers

  • Daniel S. McGrath
  • Sean P. Barrett
  • Sherry H. Stewart
  • Evan A. Schmid
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rationale

A growing body of evidence suggests that gambling frequently co-occurs with smoking, yet little is known about the degree to which nicotine and/or tobacco use influences gambling behavior. Nonetheless, an increasing number of studies suggest that acute administration of nicotine may alter other reinforcing behaviors in both animal and human models, raising the possibility that nicotine may also influence gambling behavior and craving.

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of nicotine on subjective and behavioral gambling responses.

Methods

Twenty-eight (15 male) regular gamblers who smoke daily completed two double-blind laboratory sessions where their subjective and behavioral responses to video lottery terminal (VLT) gambling were assessed, following the administration of nicotine inhalers (NI; 4 mg deliverable) or placebo inhalers.

Results

NI significantly decreased tobacco-related cravings (p < 0.05) but did not affect gambling-related cravings, VLT betting patterns, or subjective responses (ps > 0.1).

Conclusions

NI were found to acutely suppress tobacco-related cravings without influencing gambling. These results suggest that use of nicotine replacement therapies may be a safe option for gamblers who are attempting to quit smoking.

Keywords

Nicotine Tobacco Gambling Drug Co-morbidity Addiction 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel S. McGrath
    • 1
  • Sean P. Barrett
    • 2
  • Sherry H. Stewart
    • 2
  • Evan A. Schmid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychology & PsychiatryDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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