Effects of Short-Term Nicotine Deprivation on Delay Discounting Among Young, Experienced, Exclusive ENDS Users: An Initial Study

Irene Pericot-Valverde, Jin H. Yoon, Kaileigh A. Byrne, Moonseong Heo, Jiajing Niu, Alain H. Litwin, Diann E. Gaalema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Delay discounting describes how rapidly delayed rewards lose value as a function of delay and serves as one measure of impulsive decision-making. Nicotine deprivation among combustible cigarette smokers can increase delay discounting. We aimed to explore changes in discounting following nicotine deprivation among electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) users. Thirty young adults (aged 18–24 years) that exclusively used ENDS participated in two laboratory sessions: one with vaping as usual and another after 16 hr of nicotine deprivation (biochemically assessed). At each session, participants completed a craving measure and three hypothetical delay discounting tasks presenting choices between small, immediate rewards and large, delayed ones (money–money; e-liquid–e-liquid; e-liquid–money). Craving for ENDS significantly increased during short-term nicotine deprivation relative to normal vaping. Delay discounting rates in the e-liquid now versus money later task increased (indicating a shift in preference for smaller, immediate rewards) following short-term nicotine deprivation relative to vaping as usual, but no changes were observed in the other two discounting tasks. Short-term nicotine deprivation increased the preference for smaller amounts of e-liquid delivered immediately over larger, monetary awards available after a delay in this first study of its kind. As similar preference shifts for drug now versus money later have been shown to be indicative of increased desire to use drug as well as relapse risk, the findings support the utility of the current model as a platform to explore interventions that can mitigate these preference shifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-732
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ENDS
  • delay discounting
  • deprivation
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Short-Term Nicotine Deprivation on Delay Discounting Among Young, Experienced, Exclusive ENDS Users: An Initial Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this