Posttraumatic stress symptoms and cigarette deprivation in the prediction of anxious responding among trauma-exposed smokers: a laboratory test

Anka A Vujanovic, Erin C Marshall-Berenz, Jean C Beckham, Amit Bernstein, Michael J Zvolensky
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2010, 12 (11): 1080-8

INTRODUCTION: The present investigation examined the main and interactive effects of posttraumatic stress symptom severity and 12-hr cigarette deprivation (cf. smoking as usual) in the prediction of anxious responding during a 4-min 10% carbon dioxide (CO₂)-enriched air laboratory challenge. It was hypothesized that 12-hr cigarette deprivation would exacerbate the effects of posttraumatic stress symptom severity with regard to anxious responding during the challenge.

METHODS: Participants were 63 daily smokers (46.0% women; M(age) = 30.79, SD = 13.12, range = 18-60) who reported experiencing one or more traumatic events. The study consisted of two laboratory sessions. At the first session, participants were administered a structured diagnostic interview and completed self-reported measures. Eligible participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions for the second session: (a) 12-hr cigarette deprivation or (b) noncigarette deprivation (i.e., smoking as usual). At the second session, participants' smoking status was biochemically verified, and all eligible participants then were administered the 10% CO₂-enriched air laboratory challenge protocol.

RESULTS: The main and interactive effects of posttraumatic stress symptom severity and the smoking-as-usual condition--not the hypothesized 12-hr cigarette deprivation condition--were significantly predictive of peri-challenge anxiety. The interactive effect of posttraumatic stress by smoking as usual was significant at Minutes 3 and 4 of the challenge specifically.

CONCLUSIONS: The present investigation provided novel findings related to the roles of cigarette deprivation and smoking with regard to self-reported anxious responding, among trauma-exposed smokers, during a challenge paradigm.

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