Primary Outcome Measures:
- Relationship between cigarette smoking and panic vulnerability [ Time Frame: Measured at completion of laboratory testing analysis ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Growing up is hard enough, and adolescence can be a particularly stressful time in people's lives as they adjust to the transition from childhood to adulthood. Peer pressure can add to this anxiety, making it more likely for teens to take part in risky behaviors such as smoking cigarettes. Every day, more than 4,000 teens smoke their first cigarette and nearly half of those teens will become regular, daily smokers. Cigarette smoking is associated with a multitude of health risks, including an increased likelihood of experiencing panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and depression. This study will evaluate a group of teens, ranging from those who have never smoked to those who smoke daily, to determine whether there is a relation between adolescent smoking history and their vulnerability to panic-producing situations.
Participants in this study will undergo a brief medical screening, followed by a short interview that will include several questionnaires regarding emotions, experiences, and personal habits. Participants will then attend a series of laboratory assessments for 1 hour. The first assessment will include a 3-minute voluntary hyperventilation procedure in which participants will be directed when to breathe in and when to breathe out, at a faster rate than normal. Participants will then take part in two computerized tasks: one will be a computerized task that involves blowing up a balloon and deciding when to quit before the balloon pops; the other task will involve choosing hypothetical amounts of money now or after a period of delay. During the laboratory assessments, all participants will have electrodes attached to their bodies and sensors around their chests to measure heart rate, palm sweating, and muscle tension. Results from this study will be used to evaluate the association between smoking and increased panic levels under stressful conditions among adolescents.