Calorie restriction increases cigarette use in adult smokers

Lawrence J Cheskin, Judith M. Hess, Jack Henningfield, David A. Gorelick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Rationale: Cigarette smokers weigh less than nonsmokers, and smokers often gain weight when they quit. This is a major barrier to smoking cessation, especially among women. However, strict dieting is not recommended during smoking cessation out of concern that it might promote relapse. This concern derives, in part, from the observation that calorie restriction increases self-administration of drugs of abuse in animals. This relationship has never been experimentally demonstrated in humans. Objectives: To evaluate whether calorie restriction increases cigarette smoking in humans. Methods: Seventeen (nine males, eight females) healthy, normal-weight smokers not attempting to quit were cycled in partially counterbalanced order, double-blind, through four diets-normal calorie (2,000-2,800 kcal/day), low calorie (700 kcal/day deficit), low-carbohydrate (CHO)/normal-calorie, and low-CHO/low-calorie-for 6 days per diet in an inpatient research ward. Smoking was assessed by cigarette counts, breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels, and cigarette craving. Results: Compared with the normal-calorie diet, while on the low-calorie diet, subjects smoked 8% more cigarettes (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-436
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Calorie restriction
  • Cigarettes
  • Human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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