Smoking cessation, metabolic risk behaviors, and stress management over time in a sample of young adult smokers

Erin A Vogel, Danielle E Ramo
Translational Behavioral Medicine 2019 October 9
Smoking cessation may support changes in metabolic risk behaviors (e.g., high-fat diet, physical inactivity, poor sleep, low fruit and vegetable consumption [FVC]). We examined the association between smoking cessation and metabolic risk behavior profiles, mediated by readiness to change risk behaviors and moderated by stress management. Participants were young adult smokers in a randomized controlled trial of a Facebook smoking cessation intervention. Measures included stage of change for five metabolic risk behaviors: FVC, diet, physical activity, sleep hygiene, and stress management. Moderated mediation was used to examine relationships between smoking cessation at T1 (predictor), readiness to change metabolic risk behaviors at T2 (mediators), stress management at T3 (moderator), and metabolic risk behavior profile at T3 (outcome) over 9 months. T1 smoking abstinence was associated with greater readiness to increase FVC at T2, which predicted lower likelihood of T3 metabolic risk (β = -0.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] [-0.53, -0.03]). This indirect effect was moderated by stress management such that greater readiness to increase FVC at T2 was associated with lower T3 metabolic risk for participants with unmanaged stress (β = -0.90, 95% CI [-1.32, -0.49], p < .001), but not for participants with well-managed stress (β = -.22, 95% CI [-0.48, 0.04], p = .096). Young adults who quit smoking subsequently had lower metabolic risk behaviors. Among participants with unmanaged stress, those who quit smoking had greater readiness to increase FVC and lower likelihood of subsequent metabolic risk. Smoking cessation interventions could aim to teach broadly applicable behavior change skills and build confidence for decreasing metabolic risk.

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