Acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms and anxious responding to bodily sensations: a test of incremental predictive validity among young adult regular smokers

Michael J Zvolensky, Matthew T Feldner, Ellen W Leen-Feldner, Laura E Gibson, Kenneth Abrams, Kristin Gregor
Behaviour Research and Therapy 2005, 43 (12): 1683-700
Although previous work has found associations between panic and smoking, little research has investigated potential mechanisms by which smoking may contribute to panic problems. The present investigation evaluated the incremental validity of acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms (elicited by an average of 2h of nicotine deprivation) relative to negative affectivity, anxiety sensitivity, and nicotine dependence in predicting anxiety responding to 3-min voluntary hyperventilation. The sample consisted of 90 regular smokers (46 females), as defined by smoking >or= 10 cigarettes per day for at least 1 year, recruited through the general community. Consistent with prediction, greater levels of pre-challenge nicotine withdrawal symptoms uniquely predicted post-challenge intensity of panic symptoms and anxiety relative to other established factors. Findings are discussed in the context of how regular smoking may promote panic symptomotology.

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