Many smokers relapse during cessation attempts due to increases in negative affect. Previous research has shown that chewing confectionary chewing gum appears to lessen the severity of acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms and help individuals who are trying to reduce smoking in part due to the flavor of the gum chewed. The current study compared the effects of three flavored gums to a No Gum Control during 48-hour cessation periods for young dependent smokers. Forty-nine smokers participated in three experimental conditions (peppermint, vanilla, and baked apple cardamom flavored gum) as well as a No Gum Control across four weeks while abstaining from smoking for 48-hours each week. Compared to the No Gum Control, participants in the Gum conditions reported lower levels of anxiety, dysphoria, and tension. Vanilla and baked apple cardamom flavored gum resulted in lower levels of negative affect while peppermint flavored gum was not different from the No Gum Control. These findings indicate that some flavors of gum are effective in reducing the negative affect associated with nicotine withdrawal and may serve as a valuable tool in helping smokers quit.
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