Biochemical Marker of Use Is a Better Predictor of Outcomes Than Self-Report Metrics in a Contingency Management Smoking Cessation Analog Study
Background and Objectives
This investigation compared cotinine (primary metabolite of nicotine) at study intake to self-report metrics (eg, Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence [FTND]) and assessed their relative ability to predict smoking outcomes.
We used data from an analog model of contingency management for cigarette smoking. Non-treatment seeking participants (N = 103) could earn money in exchange for provision of a negative carbon monoxide (CO) sample indicating smoking abstinence, but were otherwise not motivated to quit. We used intake cotinine, FTND, percent of friends who smoke, and years smoked to predict longitudinal CO and attendance, time-to-first positive CO submission, and additional cross-sectional outcomes.
Intake cotinine was consistently predictive (p < .05) of all outcomes (eg, longitudinal CO and attendance, 100% abstinence, time-to-first positive CO sample), while years smoked was the only self-report metric that demonstrated any predictive ability.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
Cotinine could be more informative for tailoring behavioral treatments compared to self-report measures. (Am J Addict 2014;23:15–20)