The effects of ethanol on the relative preference for cigarettes

J. P. Zacny, S. H. Mitchell, M. J. Cramblett, H. De Wit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of ethanol preloading on preference for tobacco cigarettes in 10 nicotine-dependent volunteers. The crossover, double-blind study involved pretreating participants with 0, 0.2, 0.4 or 0.8 g/kg ethanol immediately prior to a task in which cigarettes and/or money could be earned. Tobacco cigarette preference was measured using the number of responses performed and reinforcers earned on a series of concurrent random-ratio schedules that yielded tobacco and money reinforcers. In addition to the preference measures, subjective effects and psychomotor performance were assessed before beverage ingestion and at regular intervals afterwards. Ethanol induced alterations in mood and psychomotor performance in a dose-related fashion. However preference for tobacco cigarettes was not affected by ethanol pretreatment. The present study suggests that the increase in cigarette smoking that is associated with ethanol consumption does not involve changes in smokers' preference for cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Ethanol
  • Human
  • Nicotine
  • Random-ratio schedules
  • Reinforcer
  • Self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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