Smoking withdrawal dynamics in unaided quitters

Thomas M. Piasecki, Raymond Niaura, William G. Shadel, David Abrams, Michael Goldstein, Michael C. Fiore, Timothy B. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considerable research shows that withdrawal severity is inconsistently related to smoking cessation outcomes. This may result from measurement problems or failure to scrutinize important dimensions of the withdrawal experience. Two recent studies demonstrated that withdrawal elevation and variations in the time course of withdrawal were related to relapse in smokers treated with the nicotine patch (T. M. Piasecki, M. C. Fiore, and T. B. Baker, 1998). This article reports a conceptual replication and extension of those findings in unaided quitters. Evidence for temporal heterogeneity was found across different types of withdrawal symptoms. Patterns or slopes of affect and urge reports over time predicted smoking status at follow-up, as did mean elevation in withdrawal symptoms. These results suggest that affect and urge withdrawal symptoms make independent contributions to relapse and that relapse is related to both symptom severity and trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-86
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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