Prospective evaluation of the effects of anxiety sensitivity and state anxiety in predicting acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation

Kirsten A Johnson, Sherry Stewart, David Rosenfield, Dan Steeves, Michael J Zvolensky
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 2012, 26 (2): 289-97
The current investigation explored the main and interactive effects of anxiety sensitivity (AS) and state anxiety in predicting acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms experienced during the initial 14 days of smoking cessation. Participants included 123 adult daily smokers (84 women; Mage = 45.93 years, SD = 10.34) undergoing psychosocial-pharmacological cessation treatment. Results indicated that after controlling for the effects of participant sex and nicotine dependence, state anxiety but not AS significantly predicted initial levels of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Results also demonstrated that both state anxiety and AS were significantly related to the change in nicotine withdrawal symptoms over time. Finally, our results revealed a significant interaction between AS and state anxiety. Specifically, higher levels of AS were associated with a stronger relation between state anxiety and nicotine withdrawal symptoms experienced during the cessation attempt. Results suggest that among high AS persons, state anxiety may be more relevant, compared to those low in AS, in regard to experiencing withdrawal symptoms as more intense during the early phases of quitting.

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