The Synergistic Impact of Excessive Alcohol Drinking and Cigarette Smoking upon Prospective Memory

Anna-Marie Marshall, Tom Heffernan, Colin Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The independent use of excessive amounts of alcohol or persistent cigarette smoking have been found to have a deleterious impact upon Prospective Memory (PM: remembering future intentions and activities), although to date, the effect of their concurrent use upon PM is yet to be explored. The present study investigated the impact of the concurrent use of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking cigarettes (a “Polydrug” group) in comparison to the combined effect of the single use of these substances upon PM. The study adopted a single factorial independent groups design. The Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT) is a test of both time-based and event-based PM and was used here to measure PM. The CAMPROMPT was administered to 125 adults; an excessive alcohol user group (n = 40), a group of smokers who drink very little alcohol (n = 20), a combined user group (the “Polydrug” group) who drink excessively and smoke cigarettes (n = 40) and a non-drinker/low alcohol consumption control group (n = 25). The main findings revealed that the Polydrug users recalled significantly fewer time-based PM tasks than both excessive alcohol users p <0.001 and smokers p = 0.013. Polydrug users (mean = 11.47) also remembered significantly fewer event-based PM tasks than excessive alcohol users p <0.001 and smokers p = 0.013. With regards to the main aim of the study, the polydrug users exhibited significantly greater impaired time-based PM than the combined effect of single excessive alcohol users and cigarette smokers p = 0.033. However, no difference was observed between polydrug users and the combined effect of single excessive alcohol users and cigarette smokers in event-based PM p = 0.757. These results provide evidence that concurrent (polydrug) use of these two substances has a synergistic effect in terms of deficits upon time-based PM. The observation that combined excessive drinking and cigarette smoking leads to a greater impairment in time-based PM may be of paramount importance, given the key role PM plays in everyday independent living.
Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Synergistic Impact of Excessive Alcohol Drinking and Cigarette Smoking upon Prospective Memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this