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The Effects of Smoking Availability and Environmental Smoking Cues on Smoking Motivation

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posted on 2023-08-04, 08:52 authored by Naomi Stahl

Conditioned reactions (e.g., cravings) to drug-related stimuli (e.g., objects, emotions, or situations associated with drug taking) have been examined as a potential mechanism to explain the maintenance of drug use and relapse. There is evidence that the expectation that a drug is available for consumption can enhance reactivity to environmental drug stimuli as well as possibly serve as a conditioned stimulus in its own right. Prior studies have found that smokers report greater urges to smoke when they expect to smoke sooner (e.g., 20 minutes) than later (e.g., 3 hours), with greater reactions when smoking stimuli (e.g., pack of cigarettes) are present. However, reactions to extended delays before smoking is available have not been adequately investigated (e.g., delays greater than 4 hours). Using a between-subjects factorial design, daily smokers (N=180; 112 male, 68 female) were randomized into one of six conditions in which instructions about the next available opportunity to smoke (20 minutes, 3 hours, or 24 hours) were cross with exposure to stimuli (smoking-related or neutral cues). Smoking urge, withdrawal, mood, and reaction time were assessed before and after the manipulation. Then all participants were told that they would have an opportunity to smoke and took part in a smoking versus money choice procedure for 50 minutes. Analyses revealed a main effect of availability on withdrawal symptoms, F(2,173) = 5.414, p < .001 and negative mood, F(2,173) = 8.725, p < .001, which were highly correlated (r = .87). Post-hoc comparisons revealed that those told 24 hours had significantly greater withdrawal symptoms and negative mood compared to those told 20 min and 3 hrs. No main effects of availability were found for urge, positive mood, or reaction time. There were also no main effects for smoking stimuli and no availability by smoking stimuli interactions. Participants who were initially exposed to neutral stimuli and then exposed to smoking stimuli during the choice procedure were more likely to smoke than those already exposed to smoking stimuli. A better understanding of the influence of cognitive and environmental stimuli on smoking motivation and behavior may inform the development of innovative cognitive behavioral treatment strategies for smoking cessation.

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American University

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Degree Awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/auislandora:84071

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