Psychophysiological responses to smoking and chocolate cues among female smokers
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Interest in female smoking behaviors has grown due to research that has highlighted gender differences in smoking cessation trends. Specifically, female smokers tend to lag behind men in their success in smoking cessation and are more likely to report weight gain concerns. The first goal of this project is to examine the effect of smoking deprivation on smoking and chocolate cravings. In examining smoking deprivation and cravings, the goal is to also determine the affective motivational system underlying craving. Female cigarette smokers (N = 42) were recruited and randomly assigned to either a 10-hour smoking abstinence group or a control group. We examined both self-reported cravings and startle-eye blink responses to visual smoking and chocolate cues. Our results indicated that smoking and chocolate cravings are appetitive for both abstinent and non-abstinent female smokers. Both the psychophysiological and self-report data also indicate that female smokers who abstain from smoking for a short duration seem to be less sensitive to positive reinforcing stimuli than those who continued to smoke. The implications of these findings are discussed.