, Volume 87, Issue 3, pp 334–336

Pre-abstinence smoke intake and smoking motivation as predictors of severity of cigarette withdrawal symptoms

  • Robert J. West
  • Michael A. H. Russell
Original Investigations


Twenty-nine cigarette smokers completed a smoking motivation questionnaire and had expired-air carbon monoxide (CO) and plasma nicotine concentrations measured prior to abstaining from smoking for 24 h. Before and after the abstinence period, the subjects rated mood and physical symptoms known to be affected by cigarette abstinence (e.g. irritability, restlessness). Scores on the “dependent smoking” subscale of the smoking motivation questionnaire correlated significantly with overall withdrawal severity, craving, and increased irritability. “Indulgent smoking” scores correlated positively with increased hunger. Pre-abstinence plasma nicotine concentration significantly pedicted craving, hunger, restlessness, inability to concentrate and overall withdrawal severity, while expired-air CO predicted craving and restlessness only. Usual daily cigarette consumption did not significantly predict any withdrawal effects. The data indicate that pre-abstinence measures of smoking motivation and smoke intake may provide a guide to withdrawal severity on smoking cessation and that smokers with a high pre-abstinence nicotine intake experience the greatest discomfort.

Key words

Withdrawal Cigarette Nicotine Dependence Motivation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Burns BH (1969) Chronic chest disease, presonality, and success in stopping cigarette smoking. Br J Prev Soc Med 23:23–27Google Scholar
  2. Feyerabend C, Russell MAH (1979) Improved gas chromatographic method and micro-extraction technique for measurement of nicotine in biological fluids. J Pharmacol Pharm 31:73–76Google Scholar
  3. Gritz ER, Jarvik ME (1973) Preliminary study: forty-eight hours of abstinence from smoking. Proceedings, 81 st Annual Convention, American Psychological Association, 1037–1040Google Scholar
  4. Hughes JR, Hatsukami DK, Pickens RW, Krahn D, Malins S, Luknic A (1984) Effect of nicotine on the tobacco withdrawal syndrome. Psychopharmacology 83:82–87Google Scholar
  5. Russell MAH, Peto J, Patel UA (1974) The classification of smoking by factorial structure of motives. JR Statist Soc Series (A), 137:313–346Google Scholar
  6. Schneider NG, Jarvik ME, Forsythe AB (1984) Nicotine versus placebo gum int he alleviation of withdrawal during smoking cessation. Addict Behav 9:149–156Google Scholar
  7. Shiffman SM (1979) The tobacco withdrawal syndrome. In: Krasnegor NA (ed) Cigarette smoking as a dependence process. NIDA Research Monograph 23, pp 158–184Google Scholar
  8. West RJ, Jarvis MJ, Russell MAH, Carruthers ME, Feyerabend C (1984a) Effects of nicotine replacement on the cigarette withdrawal syndrome. Br J Addict 79:215–219Google Scholar
  9. West RJ, Russell MAH, Jarvis MJ, Feyerabend C (1984b) Does switching to an ultra-low nicotine cigarette induce nicotine withdrawal effects? Psychopharmacology 84:120–123Google Scholar
  10. Zeidenberg P, Jaffe JH, Kanzler M, Levitt MD, Langone JJ, Van Vunakis H (1977) Nicotine: continine levels in blood during cessation of smoking. Comp Psychiatry 18:93–101Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. West
    • 1
  • Michael A. H. Russell
    • 1
  1. 1.Addiction Research UnitInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK

Personalised recommendations