Acute effects of tobacco smoking on hunger and eating in male and female smokers

Appetite. 1994 Apr;22(2):149-58. doi: 10.1006/appe.1994.1014.


Cigarette smoking is associated with reduced body weight, an effect which has often been attributed to acute anorectic actions of nicotine. In this study, male and female smokers (n = 10 each), abstinent overnight from smoking and food, participated in three 2-h sessions, involving intermittent, controlled exposure to their usual cigarette (mean yield = 0.75 mg nicotine), a very low nicotine cigarette (0.1 mg) or an unlit cigarette. Hunger and cigarette craving were assessed throughout each session, which ended with ad libitum consumption of a variety of food items ("lunch"). Plasma nicotine analyses confirmed successful control of nicotine exposure via smoking. Results indicated no differences across cigarette conditions in hunger, in contrast to the sharp differences in cigarette craving. There were no differences in total caloric intake, or in macronutrient or taste selection. There were also no differences in any responses to smoking condition as a function of gender. These findings cast into question the commonly held notion that nicotine or smoking has acute anorectic actions in smokers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eating / drug effects*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / blood
  • Nicotine / pharmacology*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking*


  • Nicotine