Executive Functions in Tobacco Use Disorder: New Challenges and Opportunities
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Frontiers Research Foundation
SmokingNeuropsychological assessmentExecutive functionWorking memoryTobacco
Martín Ríos R, López-Torrecillas F and Martín Tamayo I (2021) Executive Functions in Tobacco Use Disorder: New Challenges and Opportunities. Front. Psychiatry 12:586520. doi: [https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.586520]
There is increasing evidence that executive functions have significative effects on nicotine abuse. An unresolved challenge for smoking cessation interventions is the detection of factors associated with nicotine use. In order to understand how cognition is affected by nicotine abuse, this study was designed to determine the relationship between years of smoking addiction and several variables of executive functions. The sample was composed of 174 smokers, whose age ranged between 27 and 69 years old (M = 47.44; SD = 8.48). Smokers were assessed at baseline with measures of cognitive inhibition [Go/No Go Task and Five Digit Test (FDT)], updating [Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) and Letter-Number Sequencing (WAIS IV)] and shifting [Delay Discounting Task (DDT) and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT)] while the outcome measure was years of smoking. The linear regression and correlation analysis highlighting that the variable which has the strongest association with years of smoking is updating. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANCOVA) followed by Tukey post-hoc tests revealed significant differences such that heavy smoking indicated worse performance than light smoking on updating tasks. These findings report the ability of working memory to predict years of smoking and suggest that cigarette packaging warning may experience a loss of effectiveness in heavy smokers.