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Ecological momentary assessment of temptations and lapses in non-daily smokers


Shiffman, S and Scholl, SM and Mao, J and Ferguson, SG and Hedeker, D and Tindle, HA, Ecological momentary assessment of temptations and lapses in non-daily smokers, Psychopharmacology, 237, (8) pp. 2353-2365. ISSN 0033-3158 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00213-020-05539-3


Rationale: Little is known about relapse among non-daily, intermittent smokers (ITS), who have difficulty quitting, despite a lack of dependence.

Objectives: To analyze situations associated with temptations to smoke and smoking lapses among ITS trying to maintain abstinence.

Methods: Participants were 130 initially abstinent ITS in the placebo arm of a smoking cessation study. EMA data captured participantsísituations and states in temptations (n = 976), including those that eventuated in lapses (n = 147), for up to 6 weeks. Randomly timed assessments assessed background states (n = 11,446). Participants also reported coping performed to prevent lapses. Multilevel analyses compared temptations to background situations, and lapse episodes to resolved temptations.

Results: Temptations were marked by exposure to smoking cues, including others smoking, lax smoking restrictions, and alcohol consumption, as well as more negative affect. Lapses did not differ from resolved temptations in craving intensity, but were more often associated with smoking cues and availability of cigarettes, alcohol consumption, and worse affect, and were more often attributed to good moods. Both behavioral and cognitive coping responses were associated with avoiding lapsing, but behavioral coping had much larger effects. The effects of affective distress on lapse risk were mediated by its effects on coping.

Conclusions: Smoking cues play a major role in ITSí temptations and lapses, perhaps indicating a degree of behavioral dependence. Affective distress also played a role in ITS lapses, undermining the idea that the affective distress seen in daily smokersí lapses is due to nicotine withdrawal. The data reinforce the important role of coping in preventing lapses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoking, relapse, ecological momentary assessment, coping, smoking cessation, non-daily smoking
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
ID Code:139392
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2020-06-14
Last Modified:2021-09-21

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