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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Working Memory Moderates the Association Between Smoking Urge and Smoking Lapse Behavior After Alcoh

Friday, September 11, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Anne M. Day, Christopher W. Kahler, Jane Metrik, Nichea S. Spillane, Jennifer W. Tidey, and Damaris J. Rohsenow
Working Memory Moderates the Association Between Smoking Urge and Smoking Lapse Behavior After Alcohol Administration in a Laboratory Analogue Task.
Nicotine Tob Res 2015 17: 1173-1177
 
Lapses after smoking cessation often occur in the context of alcohol use, possibly because alcohol increases urge to smoke. Poor working memory, or alcohol-induced decrements in working memory, may influence this relationship by making it more difficult for an individual to resist smoking in the face of smoking urges. Participants (n = 41) completed measures of working memory and urge to smoke before and after alcohol administration (placebo, 0.4g/kg, and 0.8g/kg, within subjects) and then participated in a laboratory analogue task in which smoking abstinence was monetarily incentivized.
 
Working memory moderated the relationship between smoking urge and latency to smoke: for those with relatively poorer working memory, urge to smoke was more strongly and negatively associated with latency to smoke (i.e., higher urges were associated with shorter latency). Those with weak working memory may need additional forms of treatment to help them withstand smoking urges.

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