Cigarette Smokers Show Steeper Discounting of Both Food and Cigarettes than Money
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
People with drug addiction show steeper discounting of drugs of abuse than money. One suggestion is that this effect is related to withdrawal processes in drug dependence. We investigated whether it could be related to the fact that drugs are directly consumable, whereas money is not. We determined whether regular cigarette smokers discount food (another consumable outcome) less steeply than cigarettes, both of which were predicted to be discounted more steeply than money. Cigarette smokers (N = 20) indicated preferences for immediate and delayed outcomes in a titration procedure that determined indifference points at various delays. In three separate conditions, the choices involved food, cigarettes, or money. The value of the delayed option was always US$ 10 or US$ 10 worth of the outcome. Cigarette smokers discounted both cigarettes and food more steeply than money. Most importantly, cigarettes and food were discounted to a similar degree. Cigarettes may be steeply discounted in part due to their consumable nature, rather than solely due to withdrawal-related processes.
Odum, A. L., & Baumann, A. A. L. (2007). Cigarette smokers show steeper discounting of both food and cigarettes than money. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 91, 293-296.