Subjective social status is indirectly associated with short-term smoking cessation through nicotine withdrawal symptoms

J Health Psychol. 2020 Mar 19;1359105320911432. doi: 10.1177/1359105320911432. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

This study used data collected from a smoking cessation program (N = 146) to evaluate whether subjective social status was indirectly associated with smoking cessation through nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Findings indicated that subjective social status was indirectly associated with smoking cessation through withdrawal symptoms, specifically through anger and anxiety symptoms. People with lower subjective social status reported more withdrawal symptoms, particularly symptoms related to anger and anxiety, shortly after a quit attempt, and as such, were less likely to achieve smoking abstinence. Findings from this study provide insight into why socioeconomically disadvantaged adults are less likely to remain abstinent after a quit attempt.

Keywords: smoking; socioeconomic status; subjective social status; tobacco; withdrawal.