Symptomatology and energy intake during the menstrual cycle in smoking women

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This study extends our understanding of smoking behavior, withdrawal, and premenstrual symptomatology in smoking women, as well as energy intake as a function of cycle phase. Thirty-two women age 18 to 40 years, smoking ad lib, were followed for an average of two menstrual cycles with hormonal verification. Withdrawal and premenstrual symptomatology as well as energy intake were reported during the follicular (F), luteal (L), and late luteal (LL) cycle phases. Both premenstrual symptomatology and withdrawal symptomatology were higher during the LL phase. Subject response on measurements of craving, irritability, restlessness, increased appetite, and depressed mood tended to be higher in the LL phase. Energy intake did not vary as a function of cycle phase. Participants perceived that they smoked more and had increased appetite in the LL phase but related measurements did not confirm this. Premenstrual and withdrawal symptoms are highly correlated and one needs to be cautions in interpreting cycle effects on withdrawal. Overall symptomatology seems to be lower during the F phase, indicating that this may be a more opportune time for women to quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-319
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of substance abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Studies have shown that smoking behavior may change as a function of the menstrual cycle. However, many of the early studies had small sample sizes and lack hormonal verification of the cycle. Steinberg and Cherek (1989) found that most subjects (N = 9) increased mean puff number and/or total puff duration per session during menses compared to their premenstrual phase and to other Funded by NIDA Grant 5-ROIDA08075-01. Supported in part by Grant MOI-RR00400 from the National Center for Research Resources. Correspondence and requests for reprints should be sent to Sharon Allen, Family Practice and Community Health, University of Minnesota, 702 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

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