Smoking abstinence and reinstatement effects in adolescent cigarette smokers

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Introduction: The study objectives were to examine smoking abstinence and reinstatement effects on subjective experience and cognitive performance among adolescent smokers. Methods: Adolescents (aged 14-17 years, 60 daily smokers and 32 nonsmokers) participated. Participants completed baseline assessments (Session 1) and returned to the laboratory 1-3 days later to repeat assessments (Session 2); half of the smokers were randomly assigned to 15-17 hr tobacco abstinence preceding Session 2. Results: During Session 2, abstaining smokers reported significantly greater increases in withdrawal symptoms, smoking urges, and negative affect compared with smokers who did not abstain and compared with nonsmokers. Smoking reinstatement reversed abstinence effects, returning to baseline levels for smoking urges and negative affect. Abstaining smokers showed significantly enhanced cognitive performance on two of six tasks (two-letter search compared with nonabstaining smokers; serial reaction time compared with nonsmokers); smoking reinstatement resulted in significant decrements on these two tasks relative to nonabstaining smokers. Discussion: Effects of smoking abstinence and reinstatement on self-report measures are consistent with earlier research with adolescent as well as adult smokers and may help to elucidate the motivational underpinnings of smoking maintenance among adolescent smokers. Effects found on cognitive performance were contrary to hypotheses; further research is needed to understand better the role of cognitive performance effects in smoking maintenance among adolescents. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Nicotine and Tobacco Research