Introduction The effectiveness of repetitive transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on reducing smoking behaviour has been studied with mixed results. Smoking behaviour is influenced by affect and context, therefore we choose to use mobile ecological momentary assessments (EMA) to measure changes in smoking behaviour after tDCS. Methods In a randomized, placebo-controlled, between subject study, we applied tDCS bilaterally with the anodal electrode targeting the right DLPFC ( Smokers were allocated to six sessions of either active tDCS (n = 35) or sham tDCS (n = 36) and received two sessions on three different days in one week. They were asked to keep track of their daily cigarette consumption, craving and affect in an application on their mobile phones for three months starting one week before the first tDCS session. Results Number of smoked cigarettes a day progressively decreased up to one week after the last tDCS session in both conditions. Active treatment had no additional effect on cigarette consumption, craving and affect. Conclusions In this exploratory study, repetitive bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC had no effect on daily smoking behaviour. Future research needs to investigate how motivation to quit smoking and the number of tDCS sessions affect the efficacy of repetitive tDCS.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Verveer, I, Remmerswaal, D, Jongerling, J, van der Veen, F.M, & Franken, I.H.A. (2020). No effect of repetitive tDCS on daily smoking behaviour in light smokers: A placebo controlled EMA study. PLoS ONE, 15(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0233414