Smoking withdrawal symptoms in two weeks of abstinence

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1976 Oct 20;50(1):35-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00634151.


In order to study trends in smoking withdrawal symptoms, 35 participants in a smoking cessation clinic completed four questionnaires daily for 2 weeks. The questionnaire dealt with a variety of symptoms which a factor analysis showed could be grouped into four factors: stimulation, desire to smoke, and physical and psychological symptoms. Changes were observed in reports of symptoms over days. Trend analyses found that each symptom group except stimulation showed significant patterns or changes as a function of days in abstinence. These symptom clusters were all found to have U-shaped functions. In addition, desire to smoke and psychological symptoms showed linear decreases as abstinence proceeded. Light and heavy smokers were found to differ in the pattern of reported stimulation. Ss who were totally abstinent reported less severe craving overall for cigarettes than those who only reduced their cigarette consumption by an average of 60%. Also, the craving of totally abstinent Ss dropped off more sharply as abstinence proceeded. The import of these patterns and trends in withdrawal symptoms as a function of time is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / etiology
  • Smoking*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome* / complications
  • Time Factors