Self-reported abstinence effects in the first month after smoking cessation

Addict Behav. May-Jun 2001;26(3):311-27. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(00)00107-6.


The present study evaluated self-reported subjective complaints (29 single items and 11 scales) at precessation, on quit day, and on Days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 after cessation in 46 healthy quitters who remained abstinent for the first month after cessation (biochemically confirmed). Also tested on the same schedule were 29 nonsmokers matched for age and gender. Specific criteria were set for transient and offset effects based on the direction, magnitude, and time course of changes in symptoms after cessation. Results indicated that single-item anger, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, dizziness, and nausea, and the Shiffman-Jarvik Stimulation/Sedation Subscale, the Perceived Stress scale, and the POMS anger, confusion, and tension subscales met the criteria for transient effects, and that single-item desire to smoke, cough, and headache, and the Shiffman-Jarvik Psychological Subscale met the criteria for offset effects. These findings help to clarify which subjective complaints after smoking cessation are transient effects and which are offset effects, a distinction with important implications for understanding nicotine dependence and for designing pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions for smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology*
  • Time Factors