Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #18
Understanding Abstinence from Cigarette Smoking.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
Inspiration Studio
Area: BPH
Chair: Richard Yi (University of Maryland)
A Brief Abstinence Test for College Student Smokers.
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA GRETA MARIE IRONS (James Madison University), Christopher J. Correia (Auburn University)
Abstract: Cigarette smoking among college students is prevalent and correlated with other unhealthy behaviors. Reinforced abstinence (e.g., contingency management) has been demonstrated to be an effective method for reducing substance use in a variety of populations and across a variety of drugs, including cigarettes. Reinforced abstinence has seldom been used with a college student population, in part, because of the costs associated with such programs. Indeed, monetary incentives for abstinence are typically arbitrarily derived and not empirically determined. A BAT has been used to effectively reduce cocaine use among methadone maintenance patients (Robles, Silverman, Preston, Cone, Katz, Bigelow, & Stitzer, 2000). However, no published studies have investigated the use of a BAT to reduce the use of cigarettes. The current study found that the BAT is a useful tool for abstinence initiation among some college smokers, as 42% of the sample met abstention criteria during the BAT.
The Value of Abstinence from Smoking Test: A Novel Choice Procedure for Assessment of Incentive Adequacy.
Domain: Applied Research
JESSICA GRETA MARIE IRONS (James Madison University), Christopher J. Correia (Auburn University)
Abstract: The current study implemented a choice procedure for empirically assessing optimal incentive levels for brief abstinence among college student smokers. Monetary incentives for abstinence in contingency management programs are typically arbitrarily derived and not empirically determined. Thus programs using reinforced abstinence might be offering too little incentive for abstinence or too much to maintain cost-effectiveness. The choice procedure, called the Value of Abstinence Test (VAST), posed monetary rewards of a range of magnitudes and asked participants whether they would abstain from smoking for some time period if paid that monetary reward. Dollar amounts ranged from $1 - $1024 and time periods ranged from 1 hour to 1 month. Data revealed a qualitatively similar trend among participants where the dollar value of abstinence increased as time periods increased. Quantitative differences in adequate incentive values suggested individual variability for the value of abstinence.
Increasing Temporal Resolution in Laboratory Studies of Cigarette Relapse: Effect of Reinforcement Schedule.
Domain: Applied Research
RICHARD YI (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Benjamin P. Kowal (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Reid D. Landes (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Warren K. Bickel (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), Maxine Stitzer (Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit)
Abstract: Laboratory studies of cigarette relapse have the advantage of controlling the environment during the time at which relapse to cigarette smoking may occur. These types of studies provide a rich opportunity in a controlled environment to examine variables that may affect duration of abstinence and timing of relapse. This abstract reports on a repeated-measures study evaluating the temporal resolution afforded by different schedules of reinforcement for abstinence in the laboratory: (1) reinforcement that increased per minute of maintained abstinence, (2) reinforcement that decreased, and (3) reinforcement that did not change. Heavy cigarette smokers attended 2-hour sessions following at least 6 hours of cigarette abstinence. Maintained abstinence during the session was reinforced with money, and abstinence for the duration of the session resulted in equal total reinforcement for the three reinforcement schedules. A decision to smoke resulted in a discontinuation of reinforcement for the remainder of the session. Smokers completed 2 counterbalanced sessions at each schedule. Preliminary results indicate that the decreasing reinforcement schedule provided the highest temporal resolution: this schedule resulted in the earliest relapse to smoking as well as the highest variability in relapse times. These results suggest that a decreasing schedule of reinforcement may be most appropriate for laboratory studies of relapse, where time-to-relapse is the primary dependent variable and high temporal resolution is necessary.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh