Changes in circulating peptide YY and ghrelin are associated with early smoking relapse

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6 Scopus citations


Ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) during ad libitum smoking have been associated with decreased reported craving (ghrelin) and increased positive affect (PYY), and higher baseline ghrelin levels predicted subsequent increased risk of smoking relapse. The current study assessed PYY and ghrelin during ad libitum smoking and again after the initial 48 h of a smoking cessation attempt. The data compared smokers who abstained for 28 days (n = 37), smokers who relapsed (n = 54), and nonsmokers (n = 37). Plasma samples and subjective measures assessing craving and mood were collected at the beginning of each session. Results showed that relapsers experienced greater levels of distress (ps < 0.01). While nonsmokers and abstainers showed no change in ghrelin across the initial 48 h, relapsers declined (p < 0.01). With PYY, relapsers increased (p < 0.05) across the early abstinent phase. PYY and ghrelin may be useful predictors of relapse, specifically in reference to early withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Craving
  • Ghrelin
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Peptide YY
  • Relapse
  • Withdrawal

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