Women have a more difficult time quitting smoking than men and face more significant specific gender-related health consequences from smoking. Several factors could undermine smoking cessation in women, including depressive symptoms and menstrual phase. Studies have explored the impact of major depression on smoking cessation, but few have examined the effects of lesser depressive symptoms which are experienced by a significant portion of female smokers who may require targeted interventions. Compounding the depression-related difficulty in quitting smoking are the lifetime hormonal fluctuations that also affect mood, i.e. menstrual phase sex hormones. This 4-year competing renewal application is an extensive and systematic experimental study of women smokers (N=200) to determine the effect of depressive symptoms, alone and in concert with ovarian hormones (menstrual phase - follicular/mid-luteal), on withdrawal symptoms, nicotine craving, smoking urges, premenstrual symptoms and cortisol levels (stress response) during acute smoking abstinence.
The second aim i s to determine if depressive symptoms and menstrual phase moderate nicotine response on recognized response systems (physiological, subjective, behavioral, pharmacokinetics and neuroendocrine) following acute smoking abstinence. The study will include a within-subject factor (follicular vs. mid-luteal phase) and a between-subjects factor (nondepressed and subclinical depressed women smokers) where subjects will be asked to abstain from smoking for 4 days following 2 days of ad lib smoking during alternate cycle phases. On the 4th day of abstinence nicotine response will be measured using metered doses of nicotine nasal spray. Results from this study will be invaluable to gain further insight into whether and how depressive symptoms and cycle phase affect smoking cessation attempts. This information will guide the development of tailored treatments and provide evidence-based guidelines for clinicians with the ultimate long term goal of reducing smoking related harms in women.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Grossman, Debra
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Family Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Kia, Farnaaz; Tosun, Nicole; Carlson, Samantha et al. (2017) Examining characteristics associated with quitting smoking during pregnancy and relapse postpartum. Addict Behav 78:114-119
Carlson, Samantha C; Allen, Alicia M; Allen, Sharon S et al. (2017) Differences in mood and cortisol by menstrual phase during acute smoking abstinence: A within-subject comparison. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 25:338-345
Wetherill, Reagan R; Franklin, Teresa R; Allen, Sharon S (2016) Ovarian hormones, menstrual cycle phase, and smoking: a review with recommendations for future studies. Curr Addict Rep 3:1-8
Allen, Alicia M; al'Absi, Mustafa; Lando, Harry et al. (2015) Allopregnanolone association with psychophysiological and cognitive functions during acute smoking abstinence in premenopausal women. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 23:22-8
Hinderaker, Katie; Allen, Alicia M; Tosun, Nicole et al. (2015) The effect of combination oral contraceptives on smoking-related symptomatology during short-term smoking abstinence. Addict Behav 41:148-51
Huttlin, Eileen A; Allen, Alicia M; Tosun, Nicole L et al. (2015) Associations between adrenocortical activity and nicotine response in female smokers by menstrual phase. Addict Behav 50:135-9
Weinberger, Andrea H; Smith, Philip H; Allen, Sharon S et al. (2015) Systematic and meta-analytic review of research examining the impact of menstrual cycle phase and ovarian hormones on smoking and cessation. Nicotine Tob Res 17:407-21
Allen, Alicia M; Lunos, Scott; Heishman, Stephen J et al. (2015) Subjective response to nicotine by menstrual phase. Addict Behav 43:50-3
Allen, Sharon S; Allen, Alicia M; Tosun, Nicole et al. (2014) Smoking- and menstrual-related symptomatology during short-term smoking abstinence by menstrual phase and depressive symptoms. Addict Behav 39:901-6
Allen, Alicia M; Oncken, Cheryl; Hatsukami, Dorothy (2014) Women and Smoking: The Effect of Gender on the Epidemiology, Health Effects, and Cessation of Smoking. Curr Addict Rep 1:53-60

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