Last updated on December 2019

Neural Mechanisms Associated With Risk of Smoking Relapse

Are you eligible to participate in this study?

You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • Conditions: Tobacco abuse
  • Age: Between 18 - 65 Years
  • Gender: Male or Female

Inclusion Criteria:

Eligible participants will be:

  1. Treatment-seeking smokers between the ages of 18 and 65, reporting consumption of at least 5 cigarettes per day for at least the past 6 months;
  2. Planning to live in the area for at least the next 3 months;
  3. Capable of giving written informed consent, which includes compliance with the requirements and restrictions listed in the combined consent and HIPAA form;
  4. Able to communicate fluently in English (speaking, writing, and reading).

Exclusion Criteria:

Subjects who present and/or self-report with the following criteria at any point during study participation will not be eligible to participate in the study:

Smoking Behavior:

  1. Use of chewing tobacco or snuff or cigars;
  2. Current enrollment or plans to enroll in another smoking cessation program or research study in the next 3 months;
  3. Current or anticipated (within the next 3 months) use of smoking cessation medications or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT);
  4. A baseline carbon monoxide (CO) reading less than or equal to 8ppm.


  1. Diagnosis or treatment for alcohol or drug abuse in the past two years as reported during phone screen (e.g., alcohol, opioids, cocaine, or stimulants);
  2. Current alcohol consumption that exceeds 25 standard drinks/week;
  3. Positive breath alcohol concentration test (BrAC greater than or equal to 0.01) at intake;
  4. Participants testing positive for breath alcohol with a reading equal to or greater than .08 (the legal driving limit) or who are visibly impaired will be instructed not to drive themselves home after the appointment. If a participant needs to use a phone to call for a safe ride home, an office telephone will be made available to the participant.
  5. A positive urine drug screen for cocaine, opiates, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, MDMA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, tri-cyclic antidepressants and/or barbiturates at any session;

Current use or recent discontinuation (within the past 30 days at the time of Intake) of:

  1. Smoking cessation medication (e.g., Zyban, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Chantix, NRT);
  2. Anti-psychotic medications;
  3. Anti-depressants (tricyclics, SSRI's, selective and nonselective MAOIs, Wellbutrin/Zyban);
  4. Anti-anxiety agents;
  5. Anti-panic agents;
  6. Prescription (e.g., Provigil, Ritalin) or over-the-counter stimulants;
  7. Prescription sleep aids (e.g., Ambien, Lunesta) if used more than 2x/week. If participants report use less than twice a week, they will just be asked to refrain from use during imaging portion of the study.
  8. Any medication that could compromise participant safety as determined by the Principal Investigator and/or Study Physician;

Daily use of:

9. Opiate-containing medications for chronic pain.


  1. Women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, and/or breast feeding. All female subjects of childbearing potential will undergo a urine pregnancy test at Intake and both fMRI scan visits (3 urine pregnancy tests in total).
  2. History of epilepsy or a seizure disorder;
  3. History of stroke;
  4. Self-reported brain or spinal tumor;
  5. Self-reported history or current diagnosis of psychosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, current major depression (subjects with a history of major depression but in remission for past 6 months are eligible), or any Axis 1 disorder.


  1. Self-reported history of head trauma;
  2. Self-reported brain (or CNS) or spinal tumor;
  3. Self-reported use of pacemakers, certain metallic implants, or presence of metal in the eye as contraindicated for fMRI;
  4. Self-reported history of claustrophobia;
  5. Being left-handed;
  6. Color blindness;
  7. Weight greater than 299lbs;
  8. Self-reported history of gunshot wounds;
  9. Any impairment preventing participants from using the response pad necessary for the cognitive testing;
  10. Circumstances or conditions that may interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

General Exclusion:

  1. Any medical condition, illness, disorder, or concomitant medication that could compromise participant safety or treatment, as determined by the Principal Investigator;
  2. Low or borderline intellectual functioning - determined by a score of less than 85 on the Shipley Institute of Living Scale (SILS) (administered at Intake Visit);
  3. Enrollment or plans to enroll in another research study;
  4. Inability to provide informed consent or complete any of the study tasks as determined by the Principal Investigator.

Recruitment Status: Open

Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team

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