Path: weeds!utopia!hacktic!sun4nl!mcsun!uunet!olivea!!decwrl!waikato!!!aptekar
From: (I. Aptekar)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Nicotine Withdrawal
Message-ID: <27me4s$>
Date: 21 Sep 1993 08:31:24 GMT
Distribution: world
Organization: Victoria University
Lines: 43

Copied from p.135-136 of 'Drugs and Behavior' by William A. McKim.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

When most tobacco users attempt to give up their habit they experience
withdrawal symptoms in varying degrees of intensity. If you have ever
attempted to quit smoking or have suffered along with someone going
through tobacco withdrawal you will be familiar with the symptoms.
Withdrawal from nicotine is not as severe physically as withdrawal
from heroin, but it is just as stressful psychologically. Indeed, many
ex-heroin addicts who have also quit smoking report that they found it
harder to give up smoking than heroin. A list of frequently reported
symptoms includes nervousness, drowsiness, anxiety, lightheadedness,
headaches, insomnia, dizziness, tremor, and sleep disturbances
accompanied by an inability to concentrate, irritability, and an
intense craving for tobacco. Physical symptoms include nausea,
headache, constipation and an increase in appetite and body
weight[1, p.27].  Some of these symptoms last less than six months for
most people, but for some, the craving may remain as long as nine
years[2].  The severity of withdrawal seems to be worse for women than
for men[1,3].

For a time, these symptoms can interfere with performance on various
cognitive and motor tasks. As we have already seen, nicotine
withdrawal also interferes with rats' shock avoidance[4].

[1] Jarvik, M.E. (1979). Biological influences on cigarette smoking
(NIDA Research Monograph 26). In N.E. Krasnegor (Ed.). _The Beahvioral
Aspects of Smoking_ (pp.7-45). Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office.

[2] Fletcher, C. & Doll, R. (1969). A survey of doctors' attitudes to
smoking. _British Journal of Social and Preventive Medicine_, 23(3),

[3] Guilford, 1966, reported in [1]. [This is all McKim gives as a
reference -Ed]

[4] Morrison, C.F. (1974). The effects of nicotine and its withdrawal
on the performance of rats on signalled and unsignalled avoidance
schedules. _Psychpharmacologia_, 38, 25-35.