Cigarette smoking, like other forms of drug dependence, poses a significant health threat in the United States. Public awareness campaigns have expanded the public's knowledge of the consequences of cigarette smoking, and the majority of smokers express a desire to quit. However, the vast majority of smokers fail in their attempts to abstain from cigarette smoking;a failure of self-control. Our long-term goal is to further knowledge about the variables that influence failures of self-control in an effort to facilitate the development of comprehensive treatment programs for dependence on cigarettes and other drugs of abuse. We will examine the phenomenon of failed abstinence efforts in the context of preference reversals, a phenomenon where a larger and more-delayed reward is preferred to a smaller but less-delayed when both outcomes are temporally distal, but switches to the smaller reward as time passes and both rewards become more proximal. These preference reversals may provide a framework for understanding why a cigarette smoker plans to quit smoking, but fails to initiate or maintain a quit attempt. A mechanism called soft commitment has been proposed to prevent these preference reversals, where repeated choice for the larger, more-delayed reward while the reward is distal develops response persistence for that alternative that is maintained even as the reward becomes more proximal. We hypothesize that a soft commitment mechanism can prevent or limit preference reversals.
In Specific Aim 1, we will determine if cigarette smokers exhibit earlier preference reversals than nonsmokers.
In Specific Aim 2, we will compare different models of delay discounting on their ability to predict the temporal location of preference reversal.
In Specific Aim 3, we will examine the efficacy of a soft commitment procedure in preventing preference reversals in cigarette smokers and nonsmokers.
In Specific Aim 4, we will determine the efficacy of soft commitment procedures when a cigarette smoker is experiencing nicotine withdrawal. If soft commitment does prevent preference reversals in human cigarette smokers, such procedures might be modified to prevent preference reversals when the preference reversal results in failures of abstinence attempts.

Public Health Relevance

Cigarette smoking is a significant concern in the United States, continuing to be the most preventable cause of mortality and morbidity. Though many smokers want to quit, a very small minority are able to abstain from smoking for any substantial time period. This research may provide new insights into the variables that affect the failures of self-control that characterize failed attempts to abstain from cigarettes in particular and drugs of abuse in general, leading to new modules of treatment that target an individual's time of vulnerability to relapse.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA011692-14
Application #
8233424
Study Section
Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section (BRLE)
Program Officer
Grossman, Debra
Project Start
1999-04-08
Project End
2014-02-28
Budget Start
2012-03-01
Budget End
2013-02-28
Support Year
14
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$327,375
Indirect Cost
$109,125
Name
University of Maryland College Park
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
790934285
City
College Park
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
20742
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Yi, Richard; Landes, Reid D (2012) Temporal and probability discounting by cigarette smokers following acute smoking abstinence. Nicotine Tob Res 14:547-58
Yi, Richard; Charlton, Shawn; Porter, Caitlin et al. (2011) Future altruism: Social discounting of delayed rewards. Behav Processes 86:160-3
Bickel, Warren K; Christensen, Darren R; Marsch, Lisa A (2011) A review of computer-based interventions used in the assessment, treatment, and research of drug addiction. Subst Use Misuse 46:4-9
Radu, Peter T; Yi, Richard; Bickel, Warren K et al. (2011) A mechanism for reducing delay discounting by altering temporal attention. J Exp Anal Behav 96:363-85
Bickel, Warren K; Yi, Richard; Landes, Reid D et al. (2011) Remember the future: working memory training decreases delay discounting among stimulant addicts. Biol Psychiatry 69:260-5
Landes, Reid D; Pitcock, Jeffery A; Yi, Richard et al. (2010) Analytical methods to detect within-individual changes in discounting. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 18:175-83
Yi, Richard; Pitcock, Jeffrey A; Landes, Reid D et al. (2010) The short of it: abbreviating the temporal discounting procedure. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 18:366-74
Comer, Sandra D; Bickel, Warren K; Yi, Richard et al. (2010) Human behavioral pharmacology, past, present, and future: symposium presented at the 50th annual meeting of the Behavioral Pharmacology Society. Behav Pharmacol 21:251-77
Bickel, Warren K; Yi, Richard; Mueller, E Terry et al. (2010) The behavioral economics of drug dependence: towards the consilience of economics and behavioral neuroscience. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 3:319-41

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