Smoking- and menstrual-related symptomatology during short-term smoking abstinence by menstrual phase and depressive symptoms

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Menstrual phase and depressive symptoms are known to minimize quit attempts in women. Therefore, the influence of these factors on smoking- and menstrual-related symptomatology during acute smoking cessation was investigated in a controlled cross-over lab-study.Participants (n=147) completed two six-day testing weeks during their menstrual cycle with testing order randomly assigned (follicular vs. luteal). The testing week consisted of two days of ad libitum smoking followed by four days of biochemically verified smoking abstinence. Daily symptomatology measures were collected. Out of the 11 total symptoms investigated, six were significantly associated with menstrual phase and nine were significantly associated with level of depressive symptoms. Two significant interactions were noted indicating that there may be a stronger association between depressive symptoms with negative affect and premenstrual pain during the follicular phase compared to the luteal phase. Overall, these observations suggest that during acute smoking abstinence in premenopausal smokers, there is an association between depressive symptoms and symptomatology whereas menstrual phase appears to have less of an effect. Further study is needed to determine the effect of these observations on smoking cessation outcomes, as well as to define the mechanism of menstrual phase and depressive symptoms on smoking-related symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-906
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by NIDA Grant Number R01DA08075 . This publication was also supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health – Award Number UL1TR000114 . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Smoking cessation
  • Withdrawal

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