Effects of a Specific Substance in Smokers

  • End date
    Mar 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Oregon Health and Science University
Updated on 28 February 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


Although rates of cigarette use are declining, the proportion of nondaily smokers is rising, particularly among young adults. Among young adults, nondaily smoking is associated with negative health consequences and, for some, may lead to the establishment of life-long smoking patterns. The goal of this project is to understand the behavioral, psychological and neurobiological factors that contribute to cigarette use in nondaily smokers to aid the development of tailored evidence-based interventions.


The purpose of this study is to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms associated with cigarette use in young nondaily smokers (ages 21-25). Nondaily smokers experience fewer symptoms of cigarette withdrawal than daily smokers; however, they still experience difficulty quitting. Since smoking cessation before the age of 30 substantially attenuates the long-term health consequences associated with smoking, understanding the factors that motivate cigarette use in young nondaily smokers and developing tailored interventions will be critical for curbing cigarette use and improving public health. The proposed project will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how other substances (e.g. stimulates, sedatives, or analgesics) impact brain function and will assess the extent to which substance-induced changes in brain function correlate with impulsive choice, cigarette craving, and craving regulation in young adults. Furthermore, the investigators will assess how substance-induced changes in brain function, impulsivity, craving, and capacity for craving regulation predict cigarette use over the course of 1 year.

Condition Smoking
Treatment Placebo, Study Agent
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04281979
SponsorOregon Health and Science University
Last Modified on28 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Participants must be 21-25 years old
Fluent in English
Report smoking cigarettes 4-27 days in the past month - Report binge drinking based on NIAAA criteria (5 or more drinks per occasion for males, 4 or more drinks per occasion for females) at least 1 time in the past 90 days without adverse incident

Exclusion Criteria

Seeking treatment for substance use (e.g. nicotine or alcohol use)
Moderate or Severe Nicotine Dependence
Current alcohol use disorder
Illicit substance use other than marijuana use in the past year
Marijuana use more than 10 times in the past 30 days
Major neurological or medical illness - Significant head trauma - Current use of medication affecting the central nervous system
MRI contraindications (e.g. irremovable metal on the body or pregnancy)
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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