Effects of acute distress and tobacco cues on tobacco demand

Elizabeth R. Aston, Jacqueline E. Smith, Angelo M. DiBello, Samantha G. Farris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cigarette demand, or relative value, can be assessed via analysis of performance on a hypothetical behavioral economic cigarette purchase task (CPT). Substance purchase tasks are highly amenable to manipulation, namely, external stimuli, instructional changes, or acute stressors. In this regard, the current secondary analysis evaluates the role a novel, computerized stress induction paradigm, the Contextual-Frustration Intolerance Typing Task (C-FiTT), plays in eliciting varying levels of stress and resulting demand. Method: Daily smokers (n = 484) completed the C-FiTT wherein they were randomly assigned to one of five distress conditions: combination of task difficulty (low or high difficulty) with neutral or withdrawal cues, and a neutral control group. Tobacco demand was assessed immediately following the distress task using the hypothetical CPT. Results: The C-FiTT distress-induction task significantly increased key cigarette demand indices, including price at maximum expenditure (Pmax) and first price where consumption was suppressed to zero (breakpoint). Moreover, demand increased with severity of C-FiTT condition, with the high-difficulty condition resulting in significantly higher breakpoint and Pmax, compared to other conditions. C-FiTT condition was not related to a significant increase in Omax, intensity, or elasticity. Discussion: The novel C-FiTT paradigm produced comparable effects on tobacco demand relative to in vivo withdrawal induction, indicating that the C-FiTT is a viable procedure by which to influence demand. Reduction of internal and external stressors may be effective in lowering motivation for tobacco. These results highlight the importance of state distress in tobacco demand, and offer a potential avenue for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108522
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Cigarette purchase task
  • Distress
  • Stress
  • Tobacco demand


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