Objectives: To evaluate the effect of two inhaled essential oils (black pepper or angelica) on the nicotine habits of students, staff, and faculty on a U.S. college campus.
Design: Comparative study with pre-/post-test measures.
Setting: Community college in rural East Texas.
Participants: Convenience sample of 20 volunteers from the college community (students, faculty, and staff) who were regular (daily) users of nicotine (cigarettes, snuff, or chewing tobacco).
Interventions: Inhalation of one drop of essential oil on a tissue for 2 minutes when participant was craving nicotine.
Outcome measures: (1) Pre-inhalation journal recording of self-assessed level of craving for nicotine on a 0-10 scale, (2) post-inhalation journal recording of self-assessed level of craving for nicotine on a 0-10 scale, and (3) minutes that participant waited from start of inhalation until next use of tobacco.
Results: Both black pepper and angelica reduced the level of nicotine craving and allowed a longer delay before next use of tobacco. However, black pepper reduced the level of craving more than did angelica, and angelica allowed for a longer delay than did black pepper.
Conclusions: Aromatherapy may be useful in nicotine withdrawal. Further studies are warranted.