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Keywords:

  • Lateralized alpha;
  • Heart rate;
  • Stress;
  • Tobacco smoking

ABSTRACT

The effects of smoking cigarettes with differing FTC nicotine deliveries on anxiety and EEG activity were evaluated in 40 smokers who were compared with 40 non-smokers, matched for age and gender. Following smoking (sham-smoking in the case of the non-smokers), the participants viewed a stress-inducing movie. Smoking higher-nicotine delivery cigarettes during the movie, as compared to smoking low-nicotine control cigarettes, was associated with reductions in anxiety and right hemisphere activation, increased heart rate, and enhancement of the ratio of left-hemisphere parietal EEG activation to right-hemisphere activation. These results are interpreted as indicating that the anxiolytic effects of nicotine may be mediated by the right hemisphere. The EEG activity and emotional responses of non-smokers were more like those of smokers who smoked the lower-nicotine cigarettes than those of smokers of the higher-nicotine cigarettes.