Smoking withdrawal symptoms are more severe among smokers with ADHD and independent of ADHD symptom change: results from a 12-day contingency-managed abstinence trial.
INTRODUCTION: Smokers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have greater difficulty quitting than those without ADHD, but preliminary data (McClernon, Kollins, Lutz, Fitzgerald, Murray, Redman, et al., 2008) suggest equivalent severity of withdrawal symptoms following brief abstinence. The objective of this study was to characterize the differential effects of intermediate term smoking abstinence on self-reported withdrawal and ADHD symptoms in adult smokers with and without ADHD. METHODS: Forty adult (50% female), nontreatment seeking moderate-to-heavy smokers with and without ADHD were enrolled in a 12-day quit study in which monetary incentives were provided for maintaining biologically verified abstinence. Self-reported withdrawal, mood, and ADHD symptoms were measured pre- and post-quitting. RESULTS: ADHD and controls did not vary on smoking or demographic variables. Significant Group × Session interactions were observed across a broad range of withdrawal symptoms and were generally characterized by greater withdrawal severity among ADHD smokers, particularly during the first 5 days of abstinence. In addition, Group × Sex × Session interactions were observed for craving, somatic symptoms, negative affect, and habit withdrawal; these interactions were driven by greater withdrawal severity among females with ADHD. Group × Session interactions were not observed for ADHD symptom scales. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that smokers with ADHD, and ADHD females in particular, experience greater withdrawal severity during early abstinence-independent of effects on ADHD symptoms. Whereas additional research is needed to pinpoint mechanisms, our findings suggest that smoking cessation interventions targeted at smokers with ADHD should address their more severe withdrawal symptoms following quitting.
McClernon, FJ; Van Voorhees, EE; English, J; Hallyburton, M; Holdaway, A; Kollins, SH
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