Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas E. Eissenberg


Transdermal nicotine (TN) is a smoking cessation pharmacotherapy thought to work by suppressing tobacco/nicotine withdrawal and reducing the effect of a concurrently smoked tobacco cigarette. Clinical trials suggest that TN may be less efficacious for women. This study explored the possibility of gender differences in response to transdermal nicotine in 54 women and 70 men. Participants completed four within-subject, double-blind, randomized sessions corresponding to 0, 7, 14, and 21 mg TN and 4-hrs after TN application smoked an own-brand cigarette. Prior to session onset participants completed ≥ 8 hours of verified tobacco cigarette abstinence (i.e., expired air carbon monoxide levels ≤ 10 ppm). Subjective and physiological measures were administered throughout each session, and cognitive performance and smoking behavior were assessed at time points related to the smoking opportunity.Results revealed that there were few significant effects involving the gender factor across withdrawal suppression and concurrent smoking outcomes (13 significant gender-related effects out of 338 possible; 3.9%). Women were more sensitive to some of the direct effects of nicotine in the 21 mg TN condition (e.g., increased ratings of "Nauseous"). However, for women and men TN suppressed some of the signs and symptoms of withdrawal and attenuated smoking-related increases in heart rate and subjective effects that might be indicative of the positive reinforcing properties of smoking (e.g., "Was the cigarette satisfying?"). In addition, for women and men, TN did not attenuate properties of smoking that might be negatively reinforcing (e.g., smoking- induced reductions in withdrawal symptoms). Thus, although this study does not shed light on clinical observations that TN is less effective for women, results suggest that NRT might be more efficacious if combined with other interventions that supplement the withdrawal suppressing effects of TN and reduce the negative reinforcing qualities of smoking.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons