Role of sensitivity to anxiety symptoms in responsiveness to mindfulness versus suppression strategies for coping with smoking cravings

J Clin Psychol. 2011 Apr;67(4):439-45. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20774. Epub 2011 Feb 8.


Mindfulness strategies for managing cravings involve present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness of cravings without acting on them, while suppression involves pushing cravings out of awareness. Few studies have investigated individual differences in responding to these strategies. The current study examined whether individual differences in anxiety sensitivity moderate responsiveness to mindfulness versus suppression for coping with smoking cravings. Participants (N=61) utilized a mindfulness or suppression strategy to manage cravings during cue exposure to cigarettes and were evaluated for self-efficacy 7 days later. Greater anxiety sensitivity after cue exposure was associated with increased self-efficacy in the suppression condition. This suggests that anxiety-sensitive individuals who utilize suppression may cope better with cravings, at least in the early days after learning these strategies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Awareness*
  • Behavior, Addictive / prevention & control*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Efficacy
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult