The relationship between ENDS use and alcohol consumption: A neurocognitive and behavioral investigation
thesisposted on 16.10.2019, 16:26 by Alexandra Raemin HershbergerAlexandra Raemin Hershberger
Increasing research shows that the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) is associated with higher rates of alcohol consumption; however, no research to date experimentally examine the relationship between ENDS use and alcohol consumption. The present study uses a within-participant, two-session design to examine 1) the relationship between ENDS use prime and attentional bias for alcohol cues, and 2) the relationship between ENDS use and laboratory ad libitum alcohol consumption. A total of N=31 (Mean age=28.71, SD=11.17, 45.2% women, 54.8% White/Caucasian) healthy users of ENDS who endorsed liking beer completed the present study, which included 1) a dot-probe and eye-tracking task that assessed attentional bias (reaction time bias, initial orientation, delayed disengagement) to alcohol images following ENDS prime or no ENDS prime, and 2) an ad libitum beer consumption task that assessed mL of beer consumed by the participant when concurrent ENDS use was allowed or not allowed. Results of repeated measure ANCOVAs indicate that attentional bias does not differ between ENDS and control conditions. Results of repeated measures ANCOVAs indicate that beer consumed does not differ by ENDS or control condition. Results of a hierarchical linear regression show that the amount of ENDS weight change (g) is not signficantly related to the amount of beer consumed in the ad libitum session. Results of linear mixed modeling indicate that puffs are signficantly related to sips (estimate=0.23, SE=0.07, p=.002) and number of ENDS puffs account for some variability in beer sips. Results of repeated measures ANCOVAs do not demonstrate significant interactions between mL of beer consumed by session and concurrent self-reported ENDS and alcohol use over the past two-weeks, alcohol craving, or ENDS craving. Overall, results indicate that increased frequency of ENDS use is related to increased frequency of alcohol use in real time. Since ENDS is related to alcohol use in time and place, individuals with alcohol use problems should take care in their ENDS use. This study suggests that research should more fully measure and compare event-level and meta-level data on ENDS use and alcohol use patterns and that patterns based in the cigarette literature may not always generalize to ENDS.