The effect of social anxiety on urge and craving among smokers with and without anxiety disorders.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Despite the often social nature of smoking, relatively little research has been conducted on the relationship between smoking and social anxiety disorder (SAD). METHOD: Participants (N=99) included 34 smokers without current mental health disorders, 37 smokers with SAD, and 28 smokers who met criteria for other anxiety disorder diagnoses (e.g., panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, but not SAD). Nicotine and placebo patches were administered to participants in a counterbalanced manner across two assessment days. Urge and craving were assessed before and after a 5-h nicotine absorption/deprivation period. RESULTS: Compared to smokers without current mental health disorders, smokers with SAD did not report greater nicotine dependence, but did endorse greater motivation to use nicotine to avoid negative outcomes. In addition, after controlling for demographic variables, smoking characteristics, pre-deprivation urge and craving, and other anxiety/depression symptoms, social anxiety symptoms uniquely predicted urge and craving in the placebo patch condition; however, social anxiety had no influence on urge and craving in the nicotine patch condition. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that one potential reason that smokers with SAD may have worse cessation outcomes is that they may experience higher levels of craving and urge to smoke during quit attempts. Thus, during a quit attempt, particularly in the absence of nicotine replacement therapy, smokers with SAD are likely to benefit from additional treatment aimed at managing or reducing their social anxiety symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kimbrel, NA; Morissette, SB; Gulliver, SB; Langdon, KJ; Zvolensky, MJ

Published Date

  • February 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 135 /

Start / End Page

  • 59 - 64

PubMed ID

  • 24331637

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24331637

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0046

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.11.002


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland