6.5Mood effects

Last updated: January 2018

Suggested citation: Christensen, D. 6.5 Mood effects. In Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2018. Available from http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-6-addiction/6-5-mood-effects

Tobacco smoking is considered pleasurable by many smokers,1 and the extent of the perceived pleasure appears related to the rate of nicotine consumption.2 However, the stimulating effects of nicotine quickly decline (see section 6.2), and the pleasurable effects of smoking can largely be attributed to alleviation of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.3  

Smokers tend to report lower overall levels of psychological well-being than non-smokers and ex-smokers.4  Also, after an initial decline, the mood of ex-smokers will be higher than while smoking.5

See Section 9A.3  for a detailed overview of smoking and mental health. 


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1. de Wit H and Zacny J. Abuse potential of nicotine replacement therapies. CNS Drugs, 1995; 4:456–68. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-199504060-00008

2. Pomerleau CS and Pomerleau OF. Euphoriant effects of nicotine in smokers. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1992; 108(4):460–5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1410160

3. Advocat C, Comaty J, and Julien R, Julien’s primer of drug action.  13th ed New York: Worth Publishers; 2014. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/101666863.

4. West R. Beneficial effects of nicotine: Fact or fiction? Addiction, 1993; 88(5):589–90. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8043039

5. Hughes J, Higgins S, and Hatsukami D. Effects of abstinence from tobacco: A critical review, in Advances in alcohol and drug problems.  Kozlowski LT MN, Sweeney CT, Schwartz SS, Volger GP, Jarvis MJ, West RJ, Editor New York: Plenum Press; 1990.