g., money rewards) even when relevant variables (e.g., age, income) are methodologically or statistically controlled. This important distinction suggests that a higher rate of temporal discounting is indicative of a generalized deficit in intertemporal decision making, where present outcomes are globally check this preferred to delayed outcomes independent of the reward domain (i.e., other than the drug of dependence). Elevated temporal discounting is particularly problematic because it is associated with higher probabilities of smoking relapse in both laboratory (Dallery & Raiff, 2007; Mueller et al., 2009) and clinical settings (Krishnan-Sarin et al., 2007; MacKillop & Kahler, 2009; Yoon et al., 2007) as well as a failure to maintain other health-related behaviors (Daugherty & Braise, 2010; Weller, Cook, Avsar, & Cox, 2008).
Temporal Discounting During Smoking Abstinence Withdrawal and craving following periods of smoking abstinence result in a variety of executive function deficits including working memory (Hirshman, Rhodes, Zinser, & Merritt, 2004; Merritt et al., 2010). While temporal discounting is correlated with working memory (Bickel, Yi, Landes, Hill, & Baxter, 2011; Shamosh et al., 2008) and is a possible surrogate measure of executive functioning (Bickel & Yi, 2008; Olson et al., 2009), few studies have examined temporal discounting during smoking abstinence; we are aware of only two studies that have examined temporal discounting of rewards by smokers during a period of smoking abstinence.
In one study, temporal discounting of $10 gains by nicotine-dependent individuals under acute abstinence was examined in a within-subjects procedure (Mitchell, 2004). Discounting rates were determined for smokers under normal smoking patterns (satiated) and following 24-hr smoking and nicotine abstinence. Interestingly, Mitchell (2004) observed no difference in smokers under satiation and abstinence conditions in the discounting of money rewards (single commodity, where choice were between delayed and immediate money) but an increase in cross-commodity discounting (immediate cigarettes vs. delayed money) as a result of smoking abstinence, suggesting a nongeneralized increase in the relative valuation of the abstinent commodity/drug available immediately (namely, cigarettes).
In contrast, Field, Santarcangelo, Sumnall, Goudie, and Cole (2006) found that smokers increased their rate of temporal discounting of money rewards following at least 13-hr smoking abstinence compared with normal smoking, suggesting a generalized increase in the valuation of other commodities available immediately (namely, Anacetrapib money). Some methodological differences between these studies are noteworthy and provide context for the contrasting results. Namely, Mitchell obtained complete datasets from 11 smokers for $10 money rewards, with the longest delay being 25 years. In contrast, Field et al.