Tandem Project

An Antioxidant A Day Keeps Smoking Away

Laboratory & Empirical Study

Tobacco smoking is one of the biggest public health threats worldwide, killing more than 8 million people a year. Although the number of smokers has been declining worldwide, the number is still rising in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia at an alarming rate, where the various forms of smoking include conventional cigarettes, waterpipe, and recently electronic cigarettes. Additionally, the popularity of alternative forms of smoking, e.g. vapes and electronic cigarettes, among young adults has increased over the past years. When smokers become aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. However, without the proper professional and therapeutic support, most of their attempts fail. What if simple dietary interventions such as drinking coffee and eating herbs and spices rich in antioxidants can reduce smoking withdrawal-induced anxiety and help individuals quit smoking more effectively? 

Can antioxidants reduce withdrawal-induced anxiety?

Within this project, Pharmacologist Dr. Suhair Sunoqrot and Psychologist Dr. Laith Al-Shawaf address these questions by combining their pharmaceutical and psychological expertise. They investigate, for the first time, the molecular and behavioral effects of cigarette smoke exposure and treatment with natural antioxidants (coffee extracts) on withdrawal-induced anxiety. Furthermore, the psychological and social-behavioral factors influencing the use of new forms of smoking such as vaping and electronic cigarettes among young adults in Arab countries, Germany, and the USA are being investigated through an online survey. So far more than 500 Jordanian students have participated in the survey.

The outputs for this project include establishing an evidence-based link between consumption of dietary antioxidants and mitigation of withdrawal-induced anxiety associated with chronic smoking and gaining a better understanding of the factors influencing the rising use of vapes and electronic cigarettes among young adults worldwide. On an interdisciplinary level, the project will evaluate the potential and constraints of data integration and potential barriers of knowledge transfer between pharmaceutical research and psychology.

Project Cover


Disciplines Involved
Pharmacy, Psychology
Cooperation Partners
Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Jordan
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, USA
Project Title
Smoking and Anxiety – Can Antioxidants Help? An Interdisciplinary Investigation in Behavioral and Molecular Correlates and Potential Mitigating Factors
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project
Countries Involved
Arab Countries, Germany, United States of America
AGYA Publication
Nanoassemblies from the aqueous extract of roasted coffee beans modulate the behavioral and molecular effects of smoking withdrawal–induced anxiety in female rats