Cigarette smoking is associated with elevated risk of anxiety and mood disorder. Using the 7.5% carbon dioxide (CO2) inhalation model of anxiety induction, we examined the effects of smoking status and abstinence from smoking on anxiety responses.

Physiological and subjective responses to CO2 and medical air were compared in smokers and non-smokers (Experiment One) and in overnight abstinent and non-abstinent smokers (Experiment Two).

CO2 induced greater increases in blood pressure in non-smokers compared with smokers (ps < 0.043), and greater increases in anxiety (p = 0.005) and negative affect (p = 0.054) in non-abstinent compared with abstinent smokers.

CO2 increased physiological and subjective indices of anxiety. There were differences across smoking groups indicating that the CO2 inhalation model is a useful tool for examining the relationship between smoking and anxiety. The findings suggested that both acute smoking and acute abstinence may protect against anxious responding. Further investigation is needed in long-term heavy smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-772
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2014

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol


  • Alcohol
  • nicotine
  • conditioning
  • performance
  • information processing


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