Associations between nicotine dependence, anhedonia, urgency and smoking motives

Addict Behav. 2016 Nov;62:145-51. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.06.002. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Models of nicotine dependence have suggested that the association between urgency, a subconstruct of impulsivity, and smoking behaviors may be mediated by motivations. Motives that are driven by expectations that smoking will relieve negative affect or increase positive affect may be especially salient in persons who have depression symptoms such as anhedonia. Support for associations between symptoms of depression, urgency, and addiction has been found for alcohol dependence, but empirical analysis is lacking for an interactive effect of urgency and depression symptoms on nicotine dependence. The current study investigated relationships among the urgency facet of impulsivity, anhedonia, smoking motives, and nicotine dependence with secondary analyses of a sample of 1084 daily smokers using simultaneous moderation and multiple mediation analyses. The moderation analysis revealed that although urgency was significantly associated with smoking at average or higher levels of anhedonia, it was unrelated to smoking when few anhedonia symptoms were endorsed. Further, multiple mediation analyses revealed that the smoking motives of craving, cue exposure, positive reinforcement, and tolerance significantly mediated the relationship between urgency and nicotine dependence. Results suggest that models of alcohol addiction that include an interactive effect of urgency and certain symptoms of depression may be applied to nicotine dependence. Examination of the multiple mediational pathways between urgency and nicotine dependence suggests directions for intervention efforts.

Keywords: Anhedonia; Impulsivity; Nicotine dependence; Smoking motives; Urgency.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anhedonia*
  • Craving
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology*
  • Young Adult