Anxiety sensitivity and anxiety and depressive symptoms in the prediction of early smoking lapse and relapse during smoking cessation treatment

Michael J Zvolensky, Sherry H Stewart, Anka A Vujanovic, Dubravka Gavric, Dan Steeves
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2009, 11 (3): 323-31

INTRODUCTION: The present investigation examined whether anxiety sensitivity, relative to anxiety and depressive symptoms, was related to duration to early smoking lapse and relapse (during first 2 weeks postquit) among daily smokers receiving smoking cessation treatment.

METHODS: Participants included 123 daily cigarette smokers (84 women; M(age) = 45.93 years, SD = 10.34) living in the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, Canada.

RESULTS: Anxiety sensitivity was significantly associated with an increased risk of early smoking lapse (i.e., any smoking behavior) at days 1, 7, and 14 following the quit day. Such effects were evident above and beyond the variance accounted for by gender, nicotine dependence, and nicotine withdrawal symptoms, as well as the shared variance with prequit (baseline) anxiety and depressive symptoms. In contrast to expectation, anxiety sensitivity was not related to smoking relapse (i.e., seven consecutive days of smoking) during the first 2 weeks of quitting.

DISCUSSION: Results are discussed in terms of better understanding the role of anxiety sensitivity, along with other affective vulnerability processes, in early problems encountered during a quit attempt.

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