Do ethnicity and gender moderate the influence of posttraumatic stress disorder on time to smoking lapse?
BACKGROUND: Following a smoking cessation attempt, smokers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience smoking relapse at a higher and faster rate. Black ethnicity and female gender are also associated with lower success rates following smoking cessation. No study to date has prospectively examined how ethnicity and gender may moderate the effect of PTSD on smoking relapse. It was hypothesized that female gender and Black ethnicity would significantly predict early lapse after quitting; further, it was predicted that ethnicity and gender would moderate the effect of PTSD on relapse rate. METHODS: Smokers with PTSD (n=48) and without PTSD (n=56) completed ecological momentary assessment (EMA) the week after a quit date, and self-initiated EMA entries after smoking lapse. Smoking abstinence was biologically verified. The sample included Black (62%) and White (38%) participants, and was 50% female. Study hypotheses were tested with Cox proportional hazards regression modeling time to first smoking lapse. RESULTS: Study results confirmed the main hypothesis, with a significant PTSD × Ethnicity interaction emerging. The effect of PTSD on smoking relapse was significant for White participants but not for Black participants. No significant gender moderation was found. CONCLUSION: Taken together, study results support previous research, and suggest that the relationship between smoking and PTSD is stronger for White smokers than for minorities. This study has significant implications for research in smoking and mental disease, as well as for smoking cessation treatments for Black smokers.
Wilson, SM; Dedert, EA; Dennis, PA; Dennis, MF; Calhoun, PS; Kirby, AC; Beckham, JC
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