Effects of smoking abstinence and nicotine abstinence on heart rate, activity and cigarette craving under field conditions

Baldinger, B.; Hasenfratz, M.; Baettig, K.

Human Psychopharmacology 10(2): 127-136

1995


ISSN/ISBN: 0885-6222
DOI: 10.1002/hup.470100207
Accession: 008581151

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Abstract
In a field study heart rate, activity, cigarette consumption, craving for cigarettes, saliva cotinine and subjective ratings were assessed in 12 female subjects, smoking medium tar/medium nicotine cigarettes (TN). The habituated cigarettes were compared with a nearly nicotine-free/medium tar (0.08 mg/9.3 mg) cigarette (Tn) and with abstinence. Two recording periods of 3 days each were conducted in two consecutive weeks. Heart rate was highest with the TN cigarettes, 8 bpm lower on abstinence days and in between with the Tn cigarettes. A characteristic increase in heart rate and activity before cigarette lighting appeared with the TN and the Tn cigarettes and with button pressing indicating smoking desire on abstinence days. This response is attributed to an anticipative activation preceding lighting a cigarette. Subjective ratings assessing the craving to smoke differed between abstinence and the smoking condition but not between the two cigarette types, whereas saliva cotinine was significantly higher with the TN than with the Tn cigarettes or abstinence. Cigarette consumption was similar with both cigarette types, but taste and strength were rated better for the TN than the Tn cigarettes. It is concluded that heart rate and saliva cotinine depend on the amount of nicotine absorbed, whereas subjective craving is reduced by smoking independently of the actual nicotine yield of the cigarette.

Effects of smoking abstinence and nicotine abstinence on heart rate, activity and cigarette craving under field conditions