Effects of Suppressing the Urge to Drink on Smoking Topography: A Preliminary Study

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Recent studies on the co-occurrent use of alcohol and tobacco have suggested that efforts to control the use of one substance may influence the use of the other. However, little is known about how cognitive strategies used to regulate the use of one substance may affect cross-substance use. In this study, 50 social drinkers who were daily smokers were exposed to the sight and smell of their favorite alcoholic beverage under instructions to either monitor or suppress their urge for alcohol. During a subsequent trial, participants were permitted to smoke while smoking topography was assessed. Although urge ratings were not influenced by instructional set, participants who had previously suppressed their urge to drink alcohol showed more intense smoking behavior than those who had monitored. Results are discussed in terms of the cross-substance effects of urge suppression and their implications for polysubstance treatment.

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