Cigarette smoking and subjective response in alcoholics: Effects of pentobarbital

Jack E. Henningfield, Larry D. Chait, Roland R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The effects of oral pentobarbital on cigarette smoking and subjective response were determined in five adult men with histories of alcoholism and cigarette-smoking habits. Subjects resided in a residential research unit for the 6-wk study and were individually tested 5 days a wk in rooms that were equipped for automatic monitoring of cigarette-smoking behavior. Each subject was tested with placebo, one dose level of ethanol (either 89 or 134 gm absolute ethanol), and each of three pentobarbital doses (200 to 900 mg), in at least four randomized block sequences. Ethanol induced increases in puffs and other smoking measures in all subjects. Pentobarbital increased smoking in two subjects, whereas it did not induce change or suppress smoking in the other subjects. Both pentobarbital and ethanol increased scores on scales of the Addiction Research Center Inventory and other self-report measures. The results indicate that the effects of pentobarbital on smoking differ from those of ethanol, and that the effects of both drugs on smoking may depend on previous experience of the subject in the use of those drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-812
Number of pages7
JournalClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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