Evaluation of cranial electrostimulation therapy on short-term smoking cessation

Wallace B. Pickworth, Reginald V. Fant, Marsha F. Butschky, Allison L. Goffman, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effects of cranial electrical stimulation (CES) on short-term smoking cessation were evaluated in a double-blind study ofcigarette smokers who wished to stop smoking. Subjects were randomly assigned to a CES- (n = 51) or a sham-treated group (n = 50). On 5 consecutive days subjects received CES treatments (30-μA, 2-msec, 10-Hz pulsed signal) or no electrical current (sham). There were no significant differences between groups on daily cigarettes smoked, exhaled carbon monoxide, urinary cotinine levels, treatment retention, smoking urges, or total tobacco withdrawal scores, although subjects in the CES group had less cigarette craving and anxiety during the first 2 experimental days. The ineffectiveness of CES to reduce withdrawal symptoms and facilitate smoking cessation are similar to results of other clinical studies of CES in drug dependence, although positive effects of CES in animal studies have been reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cranial electrostimulation
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tobacco withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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