, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 35–39 | Cite as

Smoking withdrawal symptoms in two weeks of abstinence

  • Saul M. Shiffman
  • Murray E. Jarvik
Human Pharmacology Original Investigations


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 abstinentSs dropped off more sharply as abstinence proceeded. The import of these patterns and trends in withdrawal symptoms as a function of time is discussed.

Key words

Cigarette smoking Withdrawal syndrome Abstinence syndrome 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boyle, C. M.: Some factors affecting the smoking habits of a group of teenagers. Lancet1968II, 1287–1288Google Scholar
  2. Brecher, E. M.: Licit and illicit drugs. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972Google Scholar
  3. Burns, B. H.: Chronic chest disease, personality, and success in stopping cigarette smoking. Brit. J. prev. soc. Med.23, 23–27 (1969)Google Scholar
  4. Georges, M.: L'intoxication par le tabac: Manifestations thérapeutiques. Presse méd.70, 1419–1421 (1962)Google Scholar
  5. Gritz, E. R., Jarvik, M. E.: A preliminary study: Forty-eight hours of abstinence from smoking. Proceedings of the 81st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, vol. 1, pp. 1039–1040 (1973)Google Scholar
  6. Gsell, O.: Warum kommt es nach Aufgabe des Rauchens zu Gewichtszunahme? Med. Klin.59, 1528 (1964)Google Scholar
  7. Guiford, J. S.: Factors related to successful abstinence from smoking. Pittsburgh: American Institutes for Research 1966Google Scholar
  8. Horn, D.: Adult use of tobacco. Report of the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Publication No. (HSM) 73-8727 (1970)Google Scholar
  9. Johns, W. S.: Tobacco, drug and delight. Historic. Bull.9, 23–31 (1944)Google Scholar
  10. Johnston, L.: Cure of tabacco-smoking. Lancet1952 II, 480–482Google Scholar
  11. Knapp, R. P., Bliss, C. M., Wells, H.: Addictive aspects in heavy cigarette smoking. Amer. J. Psychiat.119, 966–972 (1963)Google Scholar
  12. Larson, P. S., Silvette, H.: Tobacco: Experimental and clinical studies. Suppl. 1. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins 1968Google Scholar
  13. Larson, P. S., Silvette, H.: Tobacco: Experimental and clinical studies. Suppl. II. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins 1971Google Scholar
  14. Ochsner, A.: Tremendous increase in cancer of the lung. Life and Hlth.62, 6–7 (1954)Google Scholar
  15. Russell M. A. H.: Cigarette smoking: natural history of a dependence disorder. Brit. J. med. Psychol.44, 1–16 (1971)Google Scholar
  16. Stieglitz E. J.: Geriatric medicine, p. 35. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders 1943Google Scholar
  17. United States Public Health Service. Smoking and health. Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, Publication No. 1103 (1964)Google Scholar
  18. Ware, G. W. How to stop smoking and why. Maryland med. J.11, 290–293 (1962)Google Scholar
  19. Weybrew, B. B., Stark, J. E.: Psychological and physiological changes associated with deprivation from smoking. U.S. Naval Submarine Medical Center Report No. 490 (1967)Google Scholar
  20. Winer, B. J.: Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill 1962Google Scholar
  21. Work Group 1 of the World Conference on Smoking and Health. Report on “Addiction, habituation, and pharmacology of tobacco”. Summary of the Proceedings of the World Conference on Smoking and Health (1967)Google Scholar
  22. Wynder, E. L., Kaufman, P. L., Lesser, R. L.: A short-term followup on ex-cigarette smokers with special emphasis on persistent cough and weight-gain. Amer. Rev. resp. Dis.96, 645–655 (1967)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saul M. Shiffman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Murray E. Jarvik
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryVeterans Administration Hospital BrentwoodLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Administration Hospital BrentwoodLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations