Anxiety sensitivity, acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and anxious and fearful responding to bodily sensations: a laboratory test

Anka A Vujanovic, Michael J Zvolensky
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2009, 17 (3): 181-190
The present investigation examined the moderating role of anxiety sensitivity (AS) in regard to the relation between acute nicotine withdrawal and anxious and fearful responding to a 10% carbon dioxide-enriched air (CO2) procedure. Ninety daily smokers (35 women; M(age) = 28.87, SD = 12.12) were assigned randomly to one of two groups (12-hr nicotine deprivation or smoking "as usual") and subsequently underwent a 10% CO2 provocation challenge. Partially consistent with prediction, results indicated that the AS by nicotine withdrawal (group status) interaction was significantly predictive of peri-challenge anxiety ratings (anxiety during the challenge), but not skin conductance reactivity. Findings are discussed in the context of the role of AS in amplifying smoking-based fear responses to bodily sensations.

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