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Severity of withdrawal symptoms as a predictor of outcome of an attempt to quit smoking

  • R. J. West (a1), P. Hajek (a1) and M. Belcher (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291700005705
  • Published online: 01 July 2009
Abstract
SYNOPSIS

In 227 smokers' clinic clients who managed at least one week of abstinence, ratings of withdrawal symptoms were used to predict subsequent return to smoking. Depression, time spent with urges to smoke, and difficulty not smoking during the first week of abstinence were significantly associated with lapse back to smoking during the second week. Depression and difficulty not smoking during the second week significantly predicted smoking status during the third week. No withdrawal symptoms during the third week were associated with a return to smoking during the fourth week. The predictive power of withdrawal symptoms was over and above that of smoke intake and dependence. The findings provide some support for the view that reduction of withdrawal symptoms may be a worthwhile target in programmes for helping smokers to quit.

Copyright
Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr R. J. West, Psychology Department, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 OEX.
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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J. R Hughes , & D. Hatsukami (1986). Signs and symptoms of tobacco withdrawal Archives of General Psychiatry 43, 289294.

M. J Jarvis , M. Raw , M. A. H. Russell & C. Feyerabend (1982). Randomised controlled trial of nicotine chewing gum. British Medical Journal 285, 537540.

S. Shiffman (1982). Relapse following smoking cessation: situational analysis Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 50, 7186.

R. West (1984). Psychology and pharmacology in cigarette withdrawal. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 28, 379386.

R. West & M. A. H Russell (1985). Preabstinence smoke intake and smoking motivation as predictors of cigarette withdrawal symptoms. Psychopharmacology 87, 334336.

R. West & N. Schneider (1987). Craving for cigarettes British Journal of Addiction 82, 407415.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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