The relationship between smoking motives and smoking urges experienced in response to a negative affect induction

Christine Vinci, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, United States. Electronic address:
Jessica Kinsaul, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States.
Maureen H. Carrigan, University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Pkwy, Aiken, SC 29801, United States.
Amy L. Copeland, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, United States.


INTRODUCTION: The present study attempted to further elucidate the relationship between self-reported smoking motives and affect in college students. METHOD: Smoking motives were measured via self-report, and following a laboratory negative affect (NA) mood induction, urge to smoke was assessed via three questions. Participants were college students (N=84) who reported smoking an average of 8.74 (SD=5.36) cigarettes per day. RESULTS: Results indicated that smoking motives for Positive Reinforcement and Automaticity significantly predicted participants' responses on two measures of urge to smoke immediately following the NA induction. Positive Reinforcement motives were predictive of urge to smoke, and Automaticity motives were predictive of the number of cigarettes participants stated that they would smoke if cigarettes were provided for free. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that (1) the association between NA and smoking is perhaps more complex than previously thought; and (2) merely two (Positive Reinforcement, Automaticity) of possibly thirteen smoking motives were identified as predictive of smoking urges. It is particularly surprising that other smoking motives (e.g., Negative Reinforcement) were not significant predictors of urge following the NA induction. Implications for relapse risk and treatment considerations among smokers experiencing elevated NA are considered.