Background: Both positive smoking outcome expectancies and metacognitions about smoking have been found to be positively associated with cigarette use and nicotine dependence. The goal of this study was to test a model including nicotine dependence and number of daily cigarettes as dependent variables, anxiety and depression as independent variables, and smoking outcome expectancies and metacognitions about smoking as mediators between the independents and dependents.
Methods: The sample consisted of 524 self-declared smokers who scored 3 or above on the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND: Uysal et al., 2004).
Results: Anxiety was not associated with either cigarette use or nicotine dependence but was positively associated with all mediators with the exception of stimulation state enhancement and social facilitation. Depression, on the other hand, was found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence (and very weakly to cigarette use) but was not associated with either smoking outcome expectancies or metacognitions about smoking. Only one smoking outcome expectancy (negative affect reduction) was found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence but not cigarette use. Furthermore one smoking outcome expectancy (negative social impression) was found to be positively associated with cigarette use (but not to nicotine dependence). All metacognitions about smoking were found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence. Moreover, negative metacognitions about uncontrollability were found to be positively associated with cigarette use.
Conclusions: Metacognitions about smoking appear to be a stronger mediator than smoking outcome expectancies in the relationship between negative affect and cigarette use/nicotine dependence. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Keywords: Cigarette use; Metacognitions about smoking; Negative affect; Nicotine dependence; Smoking outcome expectancies.
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