Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Harry Prapavessis


Quitting smoking itself is a stressor; it is likely that other stressors occur concurrently and deplete self-regulatory resources. Failure to cope leads to smoking relapse. Exercise has been shown to attenuate cravings and withdrawal symptoms in previous research and has yet to be examined following concurrent stressors. This study examined the effect of an acute bout of moderate intensity exercise on psychological withdrawal symptoms (PWS), cravings and ad lib smoking after concurrent stressors (i.e., temporary abstinence and depletion). Twenty-five smokers were randomized into exercise or passive conditions. Results showed PWS were significantly exacerbated after temporary abstinence and again after depletion for both conditions. A significant group x time interaction effect was found for cravings favouring exercise. Exercise had no effect on ad lib smoking. This is the first study to show craving reductions after exercise following concurrent stressors and represents a more ecologically valid lab-based scenario.