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affect, autonomic nervous system, breathing exercise, cigarette cravings, HRV, nicotine withdrawal symptoms



  1. Klinsophon, Thaniya BSc (Hon)
  2. Thaveeratitham, Premtip PhD
  3. Janwantanakul, Prawit PhD


Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single bout of controlled deep breathing and a "three-part breathing" exercise on nicotine withdrawal symptoms, cigarette cravings, and affect. A secondary aim was to determine whether autonomic nervous system activity mediates these effects. Twenty-four participants attended one practical session followed by three intervention sessions on 3 separate days: control condition, controlled deep breathing, and three-part breathing. Participants were asked to abstain from smoking for 15 hours before intervention. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms, cigarette cravings, affect, and heart rate variability were assessed preintervention and again on four occasions postintervention: immediately postintervention and every 10 minutes on three more occasions. Results revealed that the three-part breathing exercise resulted in lower negative affect scores relative to control condition and controlled deep breathing immediately after postintervention (p < .05). In addition, high-frequency heart rate variability score was significantly reduced throughout the 30-minute session.