Thursday, 04 Sep, 2008 Science

Nicotine Addition is Not Associated With Nicotine Itself


A new study suggests that nicotine addiction may not come from nicotine itself. The influence may be in the way nicotine boosts other experiences.

The research performed by Kansas State University psychology professor provides details on why nicotine can make a cup of coffee for a former smoker even better.

Matthew Palmatier, who works as an assistant professor of psychology at Kansas State University, explains that people smoke in order to regulate their mood rather than to obtain an enjoyable drug taste.

"People have very regimented things they do when they smoke. If you think about where people smoke or who they smoke with, you realize that it occurs in very specific places, often with a specific group of people. Maybe it's a reason why nicotine is so addictive - if you get used to having that extra satisfaction from things you normally enjoy, not having nicotine could reduce the enjoyment in a given activity," said Palmatier.

Currently the researcher looks forward to understand how his findings could be used to improve tobacco addiction treatment, which is typically offered in patches and pills.

The study was performed on rats. Palmatier let the rats self-administer nicotine by simply pushing a switch. There was only one source of light and it shut off when the rats received a dose of nicotine. The light turned on after a minute to indicate that rats can get another dose of nicotine. By analyzing their behavior the researcher came up with a conclusion that rats showed little interest in nicotine itself.

"We figured out that what the rats really liked was turning the light off. They still self-administered the nicotine, but they took more of the drug when it was associated with a reinforcing light," Palmatier said.

The study will be published in the August issue of Neuropsychopharmacology, the official journal published by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Source: NewstrackIndia

Powered by

Add your comment:

antispam code