Tobacco demand, delay discounting, and smoking topography among smokers with and without psychopathology

Samantha G. Farris, Elizabeth R. Aston, Ana M. Abrantes, Michael J. Zvolensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Introduction Tobacco demand (i.e., relative value attributed to a given reinforcer) and delay discounting (i.e., relative preference for smaller immediate rewards over larger delayed rewards) are two behavioral economic processes that are linked to the progression of problematic substance use. These processes have not been studied among those with psychopathology, a vulnerable group of smokers. The current study examined differences in tobacco demand and delay discounting, and their association with smoking topography among smokers with (n = 43) and without (n = 64) past-year psychopathology. Method Adult daily smokers (n = 107, Mage = 43.5; SD = 9.7) participated in a study on “smoking behavior.” Past-year psychological disorders were assessed via a clinician-administered diagnostic assessment. All subjects participated in an ad libitum smoking trial and then completed an assessment of delay discounting (Monetary Choice Questionnaire) and tobacco demand (Cigarette Purchase Task) approximately 45–60 min post-smoking. Results Smokers with psychopathology, compared to those without, had significantly higher demand intensity and maximum expenditure on tobacco (Omax), but did not differ on other demand indices or delay discounting. Smokers with psychopathology had shorter average inter-puff intervals and shorter time to cigarette completion than smokers without psychopathology. Tobacco demand and delay discounting measures were significantly intercorrelated among smokers with psychopathology, but not those without. Both behavioral economic measures were associated with specific aspects of smoking topography in smokers with psychopathology. Discussion The association between tobacco demand and delay discounting is evident among smokers with psychopathology and both measures were most consistently related to smoking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Cigarette purchase task
  • Comorbidity
  • Delay discounting
  • Relative value
  • Smoking topography

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