Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

December 2001


Published in Addictive Behaviors 26 (2001) 289-295. Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.


The present study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of chewing gum to reduce nicotine withdrawal, craving, and salivary cortisol concentrations during temporary nicotine deprivation. A total of 20 male smokers were studied under conditions when gum was and was not accessible during a 4-hour deprivation period. All subjects smoked an initial cigarette shortly after arrival for the two experimental sessions and were informed that they would be unable to smoke for the remainder of each session. The sessions consisted of each subject watching a movie, then waiting in the lab for two consecutive 30-min intervals. Self-reported nicotine withdrawal and craving were assessed four times and salivary cortisol five times during each experimental session. Results from this study indicate that chewing gum helps with self-reported withdrawal but not craving when a smoker is prevented from smoking. This study also provides preliminary data on the use of salivary cortisol as a physiological marker that may map these self-reports of nicotine withdrawal and craving.