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J Abnorm Psychol. 2004 Feb;113(1):166-71.

Immediate antecedents of cigarette smoking: an analysis of unrestricted smoking patterns.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Theory suggests that cigarette smoking is under stimulus control and that affect is a key trigger for smoking. A previous study (S. Shiftman et al., 2002) showed little relationship between affect and smoking, but this relationship could have been suppressed by the impact of smoking restrictions. The study evaluated these associations in a 1988 sample that was subject to few smoking restrictions. Smokers (N = 28) not seeking treatment used palmtop computers to record context and affect prior to smoking (n = 2217 observations) and also at random times when not smoking (n = 2,380). Comparisons showed little relationship between smoking and affect. Smoking was associated with particular activities and locations. Urge to smoke was the strongest predictor of smoking. The results replicated the findings of S. Shiffman et al. (2002).

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