A brief feeling state questionnaire was completed before and after each cigarette, over a day of smoking. Feelings of stress/anxiety demonstrated a pattern of repetitive vacilation over the day, with high stress before smoking, reduced stress after smoking, and stress levels increasing again between cigarettes. There was no evidence of acute pharmacodynamic tolerance, with cigarettes leading to altered feelings of anxiety/stress over the whole day of smoking. Self-rated feelings of arousal also demonstrated a pattern of vacilation over the day, with low arousal pre-smoking, increased arousal post-smoking, but arousal levels reducing again between cigarettes. The ANOVA drug × time interaction was significant, with the greatest arousal change following the first cigarette of the day. However, later cigarettes led to similar amounts of arousal change over the rest of day, thus questioning whether acute pharmacodynamic tolerance was occurring. Instead, the heightened arousal response to the first cigarette of the day may reflect the influence of two other factors. Firstly, overnight deprivation, with the first cigarette of the day leading to the greatest increase in plasma nicotine. Secondly, low early-morning arousal with its associated potential for increased arousal. Overall, therefore, there was little indication of acute pharmacodynamic tolerance to the subjective effects of nicotine. Cigarettes were associated with altered feelings of stress and arousal, over the whole day of smoking.