Nicotine in sports: past, present and future
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Mind, Brain, and Behaviour Research Centre, University of Granada, Spain
Department of Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Granada, Spain.
Publication date: 2018-06-13
Corresponding author
Thomas Zandonai   

Mind, Brain, and Behaviour Research Centre, University of Granada, Spain
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A106
In the last years, literature provided evidence supporting an increase of nicotine - the psychoactive drug present in tobacco - use in sport and administered by smokeless tobacco. Currently the use of nicotine is not prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency although it is monitoring patterns of use. This keynote lecture will provide an overview of the current literature and highlight important avenues for future research. Particularly, we would like to present data collected in northern Italy - a country where there is not socio-cultural snus tradition - among winter sport athletes showing that nicotine use in regular snus-users induces greater satisfaction and psychological reward than occasional users. Moreover, we would like to introduce that nicotine administered through snus increase cerebral oxygenation in the prefrontal cortical during submaximal exercise in non-tobacco user athletes, supporting the hypothesis that nicotine acting as a central stimulator. In addition, data collected with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in order to check changes in cortico-motor excitability confirm the nicotine central effects increasing MEP amplitude and latency on primary motor area after submaximal exercise. On the other hand, we will present our results on footballer players where snus intake increase mental load, reduced perceived readiness level and heart rate variability. In conclusion, we will show that snus administration under abstinence condition (12h) increase time to exhaustion and cognitive performance on decision-making task in snus user athletes. Researchers, practitioners and regulatory authorities are the target audience and the content should appeal to scientists and social scientists alike.

Funding Statement: The research projects under nicotine abstinence / satiety condition have been carried out with the support of World Anti-doping Agency (WADA). All others studies were funded by the University of Verona, Italy.
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