Mechanisms of smoking relapse: The potential influence of binge drinking and impulsivity on cue response in nicotine dependent college students



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Despite the abundance of research on smoking and drinking behaviors, little attention has been given to the potential role of binge drinking on smoking cessation potential among college-aged smokers. In the present study, we used a 24-hour period of smoking abstinence to examine the relationships between impulsivity, response inhibition, craving for a cigarette, nicotine withdrawal, and responses to smoking-related and affective image cues among two subgroups of cigarette smokers: (1) those who frequently binge drink and (2) those who currently do not. Analyses indicated that smokers who binge drink have higher levels of trait-impulsivity and deficits in response inhibition when compared to their non binge-drinking peers. In addition, within the binge drinking group, levels of inhibitory control worsened following a period of nicotine deprivation. No significant differences were found, however, between groups on measures of craving, withdrawal, or startle magnitude. Findings are discussed in terms of their importance in clarifying the relationship between the different facets of impulsivity and its potential influence on smoking lapse and relapse.



Smoking, Binge drinking, Nicotine addiction