Severity of negative mood and anxiety symptoms occurring during acute abstinence from tobacco: A systematic review and meta-analysis

A. A. Conti, S. Tolomeo, J. D. Steele, Alex Baldacchino (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This review was conducted with the following goals: To quantify the severity of mood and anxiety symptoms emerging during acute abstinence from tobacco (1). To explore sex differences related to the experience of specific symptoms (2). To investigate the early time course of symptoms (3). A meta-analysis was performed from 28 studies assessing mood and anxiety symptoms during the earliest phases of tobacco abstinence (up to 24 hrs post-quit) conducted from 1999 to 2019. Results revealed a significant (p < 0.0001) increase in ‘anxiety’, ‘anger/irritability’, ‘depressed mood /sadness’, and composite negative affect (‘NA’) in the 24 hours following smoking cessation. The largest effect size was detected for ‘anxiety’ (0.63). A qualitative analysis was performed to investigate sex differences and the time course of the specific symptoms. Results indicated that female smokers may experience worse mood symptoms compared to male smokers and that these symptoms may emerge within 3 hrs post-quit. Smoking cessation programs should implement sex-tailored interventions in order to improve their effectiveness, while future research should focus on alternative methods of nicotine administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-63
Number of pages16
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume115
Early online date23 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Acute abstinence
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • meta-analysis
  • depression
  • mood
  • negative affect
  • nicotine
  • tobacco
  • withdrawal
  • Anger
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Meta-analysis
  • Tobacco
  • Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Negative affect
  • Nicotine

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