Psychopharmacology

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 66–72 | Cite as

Effect of a short bout of exercise on tobacco withdrawal symptoms and desire to smoke

  • Michael Ussher
  • Paola Nunziata
  • Mark Cropley
  • Robert West
Original Investigation

Abstract.

Rationale: Previous research suggests that a long bout of vigorous intensity exercise may reduce tobacco withdrawal symptoms and desire to smoke during abstinence. Objective: In the present study, we investigated whether a short bout of moderate intensity exercise reduced desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms in abstaining smokers. Methods: Seventy-eight smokers attended the laboratory in the afternoon having not smoked since the previous evening. They rated their desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms immediately before, during and after 10 min of moderate intensity exercise on a stationary cycle (experimental condition), or after waiting passively (control condition 1) or watching a video (control condition 2). Results: Ratings of desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms decreased more in the experimental group than in both control groups, which did not differ from each other. The effect was evident at all measurement points and was maintained for at least 10 min following exercise. Conclusion: A single bout of 10 min of moderate intensity exercise has a rapid and measurable effect on desire to smoke and tobacco withdrawal symptoms in abstaining smokers. Short bouts of exercise may be useful in helping to reduce desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation.

Exercise Craving Withdrawal Smoking 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ussher
    • 1
  • Paola Nunziata
    • 2
  • Mark Cropley
    • 2
  • Robert West
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Hunter Wing, St. George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 ORE, UK
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH, UK

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