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Br J Addict. 1992 Jul;87(7):1037-40.

Increased desire to smoke during acute stress.

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Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213.


Conditions which promote smoking urges, or desire to smoke, are believed to be important in maintaining smoking behaviour, yet little controlled research has examined acute situational factors which increase desire to smoke. In this study, 16 male and 16 female smokers either smoked or sham-smoked with an unlit cigarette after brief abstinence during two sessions, one involving a stressful computer task and the other a non-stress task. Desire to smoke was greater during the stress vs. non-stress task for sham-smokers (p less than 0.01). Furthermore, although smoking desire decreased markedly after smoking in the smoking smokers (p less than 0.001), even this group tended to report greater desire to smoke during stress (p less than 0.10). There were no differences between males and females. These findings indicate that exposure to stressors increases desire to smoke, and suggest that such situations may be influential in maintaining smoking behaviour in smokers not attempting to quit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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