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Addict Behav. 2010 Jun;35(6):580-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2010.01.009. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Negative affect as a mediator of the relationship between vigorous-intensity exercise and smoking.

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Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0442, USA.


The present cross-sectional study evaluated whether people who engage in vigorous-intensity exercise are better able to regulate negative affective states, thereby changing core maintenance factors of smoking. Participants were a community sample of adults (n = 270) who completed self-report measures of physical activity, cigarette smoking, anxiety sensitivity, and negative affect. Consistent with hypothesis, vigorous-intensity exercise was related to lower levels of cigarette smoking, accounting for 10% of the variance in smoking. Additionally, negative affect mediated the relationship between vigorous-intensity physical activity and cigarette smoking, accounting for about 12% of this relation. Furthermore, these relationships were stronger for individuals with high anxiety sensitivity than for those with low anxiety sensitivity; including anxiety sensitivity as a moderator of the mediated relationship increased the amount of variance accounted for by negative affect to 17%. The findings are discussed in relation to developing further scientific insight into the mechanisms and pathways relevant to understanding the association among vigorous-intensity exercise, smoking, and emotional vulnerability.

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