Introduction: Smokers with depressive and alcohol use disorders report more severe tobacco abstinence effects (e.g., tobacco withdrawal and craving, mood and sleep disturbance), but less is known about abstinence effects among smokers with subclinical features of these disorders.
Aims: The time-course and severity of acute abstinence effects were evaluated in smokers with and without subclinical depressive symptoms (DEP) and with and without subclinical alcohol consumption (ALC). Methods: Participants (N = 106) received smoking cessation counselling and were contingently compensated for biochemically-verified smoking abstinence. Abstinence effects were assessed pre-quit and daily for eight days post-quit.
Results/Findings: Seventy-four participants (70%) achieved eight-day continuous smoking abstinence. Generalised estimating equations revealed that time and DEP group significantly interacted to predict change in Wisconsin Smoking Withdrawal Scale (WSWS) Anxiety (Wald = 21.18, p < .01) and Questionnaire of Smoking Urges Relief from Negative Affect (Wald = 20.12, p < .01) subscale scores. Time and ALC group significantly interacted to predict change in Profile of Mood States (POMS) Fatigue subscale score (Wald = 19.78, p < .01). Compared to non-DEP smokers, DEP smokers reported higher mean post-quit scores on several measures of abstinence effects, including WSWS Sadness and POMS Total; however, pre-quit differences between DEP groups may have confounded post-quit differences.
Conclusions: Smokers with subclinical depressive symptoms endorsed high levels of abstinence effects, but it was unclear if these were related to the absence of tobacco. Smokers with subclinical alcohol consumption did not endorse high levels of abstinence effects but abstinence-related fatigue took longer to improve.