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Articles by S O`Malley
Total Records ( 2 ) for S O`Malley
  K. P Cosgrove , J Batis , F Bois , P. K Maciejewski , I Esterlis , T Kloczynski , S Stiklus , S Krishnan Sarin , S O`Malley , E Perry , G Tamagnan , J. P Seibyl and J. K. Staley

Context  Available levels of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the β2 subunit (β2*-nAChR) are higher in recently abstinent tobacco smokers compared with participants who never smoked. Variations in β2*-nAChR availability during the course of abstinence may be related to the urge to smoke, the extent of nicotine withdrawal, and successful abstinence.

Objective  To examine changes in β2*-nAChR availability during acute and prolonged abstinence from tobacco smoking and to determine how changes in β2*-nAChR availability were related to clinical features of tobacco smoking.

Design  Tobacco smokers participated in up to 4 iodide 123–labeled 5-iodo-A-85380 ([123I]5-IA) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans during abstinence at 1 day (n = 7) and 1 (n = 17), 2 (n = 7), 4 (n = 11), and 6 to 12 (n = 6) weeks. Age-matched nonsmokers participated in a single [123I]5-IA SPECT scan. All participants completed 1 magnetic resonance imaging study.

Setting  Academic imaging center.

Participants  Tobacco smokers (n = 19) and an age-matched nonsmoker comparison group (n = 20).

Main Outcome Measure  The [123I]5-IA SPECT images were converted to distribution volume and were analyzed using regions of interest.

Results  Compared with nonsmokers, β2*-nAChR availability in the striatum, cortex, and cerebellum of smokers was not different at 1 day of abstinence, was significantly higher at 1 week of abstinence, and was not different at 4 or at 6 to 12 weeks of abstinence. In smokers, β2*-nAChR availability was significantly lower in the cortex and cerebellum at 6 to 12 weeks compared with 1 week of abstinence. In addition, cerebellar β2*-nAChR availability at 4 weeks of abstinence was positively correlated with craving on the day of the SPECT scan.

Conclusions  These data suggest that higher β2*-nAChR availability persists up to 1 month of abstinence and normalizes to nonsmoker levels by 6 to 12 weeks of abstinence from tobacco smoking. These marked and persistent changes in β2*-nAChR availability may contribute to difficulties with tobacco cessation.

  S. A McKee , C Higbee , S O`Malley , L Hassan , R Borland , K. M Cummings , G Hastings , G. T Fong and A. Hyland

On 26 March 2006, Scotland implemented a smoke-free policy prohibiting smoking in indoor public venues, including bars and pubs. Drinking and smoking are highly associated behaviors, so we evaluated whether the regulations would decrease drinking behavior among smokers in public venues. We further assessed whether this effect would be more pronounced in heavier drinkers and whether decreases in drinking behavior in pubs would be offset by increased drinking in the home.


Participants (N = 1,059) were adult smokers and nonsmokers from Scotland and from the rest of the United Kingdom, which did not have comprehensive smoke-free policies during the study period. Data were collected using a random-digit–dialed telephone survey from February to March 2006, just prior to the policy implementation in Scotland. Follow-up surveys were conducted in March 2007. Using baseline data, we categorized participants as abstainers, moderate drinkers, or heavy drinkers.


Overall, results demonstrated that drinking behavior did not change significantly in Scotland compared with the rest of the United Kingdom following implementation of the smoke-free policy in Scotland. However, planned comparisons examining mean changes in drinks consumed in pubs or bars following the legislation demonstrated that the smoke-free legislation was associated with reduced drinking behavior in pubs and bars among moderate- and heavy-drinking smokers in Scotland. These moderate- and heavy-drinking Scottish smokers also reduced their pub attendance following policy implementation.


The smoke-free Scottish law did not increase drinking in the home. These findings suggest that smoke-free policies may have additional public health benefits for those at greater risk for alcohol-related health problems.

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