30 Minutes Until Nicotine Withdrawal

Like other drugs, nicotine is addictive and comes up with a host of withdrawal symptoms. And those symptoms don't take long to set in: just 30 minutes after a smoker takes their last drag, according to researchers.

Researchers from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute's Tobacco Research & Intervention Program and the University of South Florida studied a group of heavy smokers. Half the group was allowed to smoke as they normally would, while the others were asked to abstain from smoking for four hours.

The study findings were as follows:

  • Participants who refrained from smoking ┬áreported cravings for cigarettes within the first half-hour, and performance on a concentration test declined.
  • After one hour, participants reported increased anger and feelings of anxiety and sadness
After three hours, participants experienced problems concentrating.

"This study suggests that the typical smoker begins to feel somewhat out-of-sorts within an hour of his or her last cigarette," said the lead study author. "Although they are not yet in the throes of full withdrawal that they would experience after a day without nicotine, they can already perceive that they are not feeling quite right, and that a cigarette would offer temporary relief."


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