The effect of sucrose on acute tobacco withdrawal in women

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1998 Oct;139(3):217-21. doi: 10.1007/s002130050707.


Carbohydrate consumption is thought to attenuate symptoms of tobacco withdrawal, but direct evidence for this idea does not exist. Using a 2 x 2 (smoking/smoking deprived x sucrose/placebo) factorial design, we examined in 67 women whether sucrose would decrease acute withdrawal symptoms observed after 12 h of tobacco abstinence. Sucrose decreased tobacco abstinence-induced drowsiness and anxiety and preference for foods high in carbohydrate and fat content. Sucrose, however, had no effect on several other acute withdrawal symptoms, including restlessness, irritability and concentration difficulties. These results provide modest support for the idea that increased carbohydrate intake during tobacco withdrawal reduces certain withdrawal symptoms even after only 12 h of abstinence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Demography
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Sucrose / therapeutic use*


  • Sucrose
  • Nicotine