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Correlates of cigarette craving in acute nicotine withdrawal

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Investigator(s): Murray Jarvik, M.D., Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2003 (Cycle 12) Grant #: 12RT-0132 Award: $17,000
Subject Area: Nicotine Dependence
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Introduction and Topic Addressed: By inhaling cigarette smoke, a smoker introduces nicotine into his lungs and blood stream. Nicotine causes a variety of chemicals to be released in the brain and in the rest of the body. Many of these are hormonal substances which can produce a feeling of well-being in smokers.

We are analyzing the blood of smokers when they have been forced to stop smoking for 4 hours to see if the level of nicotine, and of some of the substances released by nicotine, change at the same rate as craving for cigarettes. Furthermore, if falling levels of these substances produce craving, we should be able to tell how important they are by either blocking their action with certain drugs or by mimicking their action with other drugs. We are also looking for any ethnic and gender differences in blood components and craving response to nicotine and its products.

We are currently running Study 1 (of five), which uses the 4-hour abstinence paradigm to measure cigarette craving with no drug manipulation. Study 1 is designed to look at ethnic and gender differences and we are recruiting specifically for four groups: Black/African-American, Hispanic, White, and Asian.

Progress Toward Specific Aims: Our planned time schedule has been somewhat delayed due to a change of administering institution and delays in personnel hiring process. These issues have been resolved and recruitment and data collection are going well. In addition, to increase recruitment rates and make up initial delays, we have reduced the number of visits subjects must complete and increased their payment amount.

Future Direction and Impact: Data entry has been started but no analysis has yet been performed on the data collected. Therefore no significant findings have resulted as of this report.