Effects of nicotine gum and tobacco smoking on human avoidance responding

Don R. Cherek, Robert H. Bennett, Thomas H. Kelly, Joel L. Steinberg, Neal L. Benowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Three male smokers were exposed to a free-operant avoidance schedule in which a lever press postponed a point subtraction on a counter for twenty seconds. Subtractions were scheduled to occur every 5 seconds in the absence of lever presses. Prior to each experimental session the subject was administered varying amounts of nicotine via either chewing nicotine gum or smoking low or high nicotine yield cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes resulted in increased avoidance responding relative to baseline nonsmoking rates. Chewing nicotine gum did not produce changes in avoidance responding, however, nicotine blood levels produced by chewing nicotine gum were similar to levels produced by smoking cigarettes. The differential responding determined by route of nicotine administration is discussed and the implications for use of nicotine gum as an adjunct for smoking cessation is addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-681
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Avoidance
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Humans
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine blood level
  • Nicotine gum
  • Route of administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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