Category: Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine - Adult

Symposium

Exercise for Smoking Cessation: Mechanistic Role of Reductions in Anxiety Sensitivity and Dysphoria

Saturday, November 18
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Exercise | Anxiety Sensitivity | Smoking
Presentation Type: Symposium

Research shows that high anxiety sensitivity (AS) and dysphoria are related to poor smoking cessation outcomes. Engaging in exercise may contribute to improvement in smoking cessation outcomes through reductions in AS and dysphoria. In the current study, we examined whether exercise can aid smoking cessation through reductions in AS and dysphoria. Participants were sedentary and low activity adult daily smokers (N = 136) with elevated AS who participated in a randomized controlled trial comparing smoking cessation treatment (ST) plus an exercise intervention (ST+EX) to ST plus wellness education (ST+CTRL). Self-reported smoking status was assessed in-person weekly from baseline through week 16 (end-of-treatment; EOT), at week 22 (4-months post-quit day), and week 30 (6-months post-quit day), and verified biochemically. Results indicated that both AS and dysphoria at EOT and at 6-month follow-up were significantly lower in the ST+EX group compared to the ST+CTRL group (controlling for baseline levels). Moreover, reductions in AS and dysphoria emerged as independent mechanisms of action explaining success in quitting, although the mediating effects of AS reductions were specific to the ST+CTRL condition. These novel findings are consistent with theoretical models that implicate AS and dysphoria as important treatment targets for smoking cessation and offer clinically significant evidence suggesting that vigorous-intensity exercise can effectively engage these targets. 

Lorra Garey

Graduate Student
University of Houston

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Exercise for Smoking Cessation: Mechanistic Role of Reductions in Anxiety Sensitivity and Dysphoria



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