The effect of smoking nicotine tobacco versus smoking deprivation on motion sickness

Golding, J.F., Prosyanikova, O., Flynn, M. and Gresty, M.A. (2011) The effect of smoking nicotine tobacco versus smoking deprivation on motion sickness. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 160 (1-2). pp. 53-58. ISSN 1566-0702

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BACKGROUND: The experienced smoker maintains adequate nicotine levels by 'puff-by-puff self-control' which also avoids symptomatic nauseating effects of nicotine overdose. It is postulated that there is a varying 'dynamic threshold for nausea' into which motion sickness susceptibility provides an objective toxin-free probe. Hypotheses were that: (i) nicotine promotes motion sickness whereas deprivation protects; and (ii) pleasurable effects of nicotine protect against motion sickness whereas adverse effects of withdrawal have the opposite effect. METHODS: Twenty-six healthy habitual cigarette smokers (mean±SD) 15.3±7.6cigs/day, were exposed to a provocative cross-coupled (coriolis) motion on a turntable, with sequences of 8 head movements every 30s. This continued to the point of moderate nausea. Subjects were tested after either ad-lib normal smoking (SMOKE) or after overnight deprivation (DEPRIV), according to a repeated measures design counter-balanced for order with 1-week interval between tests. RESULTS: Deprivation from recent smoking was confirmed by objective measures: exhaled carbon monoxide CO was lower (P<0.001) for DEPRIV (8.5±5.6ppm) versus SMOKE (16.0±6.3ppm); resting heart rate was lower (P<0.001) for DEPRIV (67.9±8.4bpm) versus SMOKE (74.3±9.5bpm). Mean±SD sequences of head movements tolerated to achieve moderate nausea were more (P=0.014) for DEPRIV (21.3±9.9) versus SMOKE (18.3±8.5). DISCUSSION: Tolerance to motion sickness was aided by short-term smoking deprivation, supporting Hypothesis (i) but not Hypothesis (ii). The effect was was approximately equivalent to half of the effect of an anti-motion sickness drug. Temporary nicotine withdrawal peri-operatively may explain why smokers have reduced risk for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Science and Technology
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Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:29
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 11:12

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