0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Tranquilizing Effects of Smoking Cessation
SHELDON B. COHEN, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 1999;156:666-667.

To the Editor: The simple, elegant study by Robert West, Ph.D., and Peter Hajek, Ph.D. (1), serves to question the widely accepted notion that cessation of smoking leads to anxiety; hence, the myth that smoking has a calming effect.

The authors postulate that previous reports of anxiety following smoking cessation are related to the fact that many quitters may not have abstained completely. The authors note that nicotine substitution is used in many smoking cessation programs, but they do not comment on the fact that continuing to introduce this anxiogenic agent into the body by means other than smoking may simply perpetuate the sympathomimetic properties of nicotine. Incidentally, it would have been interesting to have noted the pulse rates of the smokers in this study. Because the notion that smoking cessation leads to anxiety predates the use of nicotine substitutes, perhaps we are dealing with the effects of decades of advertising that emphasizes the soothing, calming, beneficial effects of smoking.

Although the authors stated that "sessions focused on group discussion of abstinence and had no relaxation or stress management components" (p. 1592), they somehow must have conveyed a supportive, positive approach to have 70 of 101 patients abstinent at 4 weeks.

The consensual validation of the anxiolytic effects of smoking cessation should be helpful to physicians who deal with tobacco addiction.

West R, Hajek P: What happens to anxiety levels on giving up smoking? Am J Psychiatry  1997; 154:1589–1592
 
+

References

West R, Hajek P: What happens to anxiety levels on giving up smoking? Am J Psychiatry  1997; 154:1589–1592
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry, 5th Edition > Chapter 9.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 16.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 16.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 15.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles