Respiratory problems and anxiety sensitivity in smoking lapse among treatment seeking smokers

Addict Behav. 2017 Dec;75:25-29. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.06.015. Epub 2017 Jun 23.


Purpose: The current study examined whether the interaction of lower respiratory symptoms and anxiety sensitivity is related to smoking lapse in the context of smoking cessation.

Method: Participants were adult daily smokers (N=60) exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster who were in a smoking cessation treatment program (75.0% male, 50.6years old [SD=9.2], and current smoking rate was 17.6 cigarettes per day (SD=10.6).

Results: Results indicated that the interaction between lower respiratory symptoms and anxiety sensitivity was a significant predictor of greater risk for lapse (i.e., lower survival time; B=0.005, OR=1.01, p=0.039). Follow-up analysis showed that greater respiratory symptoms were a significant predictor of lapse risk among those with high (B=0.116, OR=1.12, p=0.025), but not those with low (B=-0.048, OR=0.95, p=0.322), levels of anxiety sensitivity.

Discussion: The findings from the current study suggest that smokers with greater respiratory symptoms and higher levels of anxiety sensitivity may be associated with early lapse to smoking following smoking cessation treatment. Future work has the potential to inform the development of tailored cessation interventions for smokers who experience varying levels of lower respiratory symptoms and anxiety sensitivity.

Keywords: Anxiety sensitivity; Disaster; Posttraumatic stress; Respiratory symptoms; Responder; Smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Chest Pain / epidemiology*
  • Cough / epidemiology*
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks
  • Smokers / psychology
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Tobacco Smoking / therapy
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*