, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 143–145 | Cite as

Time course of cigarette widhdrawal symptoms while using nicotine gum

  • Robert West
  • Peter Hajek
  • Michael Belcher
Rapid Communications


Ratings of withdrawal symptoms were provided at weekly intervals by 147 smokers clinic clients who managed complete abstinence for 4 weeks. The ratings followed a similar temporal pattern regardless of amount of nicotine gum used. Irritability, depression, difficulty concentrating and restlessness peaked in the 1 st week or two and returned to baseline by week 4. Hunger was more persistent. Craving was reported to be the most troublesome withdrawal symptom at first, although by the 4th week hunger was cited almost as often. Across all subjects,e venings were cited most often as the worst time of day for craving but among heavier smokers and those who used more nicotine gum mornings were considered worst.

Key words

Smoking Withdrawal symptoms Timecourse Nicotine gum 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Hajek P, Belcher M, Stapleton J (1985) Enhancing the impact of groups: an evaluation of two group formats for smokers. Br J Clin Psychol 24:289–294Google Scholar
  2. Hughes JR, Higgins ST, Hatsukami D (1989) Effects of abstinence from tobacco. In: Kozlowski L, Annis H, Cappell H et al. (eds) Research advances in alcohol and drug problems. Plenum Press, New York (in press)Google Scholar
  3. Shiffman S (1979) The tobacco withdrawal syndrome. In: Krasnegor NA (ed) Cigarette smoking as a dependence process (NIDA Res Monogr 23, Chap. 13) National Institute on Drug Abuse, Rockville, MDGoogle Scholar
  4. Shiffman S, Jarvik M (1976) Smoking withdrawal symptoms in two weeks of abstinence. Psychopharmacology 50:35–39Google Scholar
  5. Schneider N, Jarvik M (1984) Time course of smoking withdrawal symptoms as a function ofnicotine replacement. Psychopharmacology 82:143–144Google Scholar
  6. Stitzer M, Gross J (1988) Smoking relapse: the role of pharmacological and behavioral factors. In: Pomerleau O, Pomerleau C (eds) Nicotine replacement: a critical evaluation. Liss, New York, pp 163–184Google Scholar
  7. West R (1984) Psychology and pharmacology in cigarette withdrawal. J Psychosom Res 28:379–386Google Scholar
  8. West R, Russell M (1985) Pre-abstinence smoke intake and smoking motivation as predictors of severity of cigarette withdrawal symptoms. Psychopharmacology 87:334–336Google Scholar
  9. West R, Russell M (1988) Loss of acute nicotine tolerance and severity of cigarette withdrawal. Psychopharmacology 94:563–565Google Scholar
  10. West R, Hajek P, Belcher M (1987) Time course of cigarette withdrawal symptoms during two weeks of treatment with nicotine chewing gum. Addict Behav 12:199–203Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert West
    • 1
  • Peter Hajek
    • 2
  • Michael Belcher
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology Department, Royal Holloway and Bedford New CollegeLondon UniversityEghamUK
  2. 2.Addiction Research UnitInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK

Personalised recommendations