Title

Depressive symptoms and cigarette demand as a function of induced stress

Abstract

Introduction: Depressed smokers may disproportionately value cigarettes as compared to other reinforcers in the context of increases in negative affect (NA). Thus, cigarette demand may be an important construct for understanding the relationship between depression, NA change, and tobacco use. The aim of the current study was to examine the interaction between depressive symptoms and change in NA as a function of induced mood as a predictor of cigarette demand. Methods: Participants included 73 young adult daily smokers (41.70% female, 73.60% White, age M (SD) = 19.70 (1.15)) who attended two experimental sessions: one stress and one neutral. During each session, participants completed ratings of depressive symptoms, NA, and cigarette demand. Results: We examined the predictive utility of depressive symptoms, change in NA as a result of a stressor, and the interaction between depressive symptoms and NA change on demand indices. Separate models were constructed by session. Results indicated significant interactive effects between depressive symptoms and change in NA for predicting intensity, breakpoint, and Pmax during the stress session. Specifically, change in NA moderated the relationship between depression and demand indices such that among individuals high in NA change, depressive symptoms were positively related to Pmax and breakpoint, whereas among individuals low in NA change, depressive symptoms were positively related to intensity. Conclusions: When exposed to stress, cigarettes may become more valuable for individuals with depressive symptoms. Implications: This study contributes to the literature attempting to understand the complex relationships between depression, stress-related changes in NA, and tobacco use. This study suggests that one mechanism that may be important to the relationship between depression and tobacco use is cigarette demand. Specifically, for individuals with elevated depressive symptoms, certain aspects of cigarette demand may be higher (intensity, breakpoint, and Pmax) when exposed to stress, which may contribute to tobacco use being maintained over time.

Publication Title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

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