Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014 Jun;22(3):229-237. doi: 10.1037/a0035306. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

The role of smoking inflexibility/avoidance in the relation between anxiety sensitivity and tobacco use and beliefs among treatment-seeking smokers.

Author information

University of Houston, Department of Psychology.
Florida State University, Department of Psychology.
University of Texas at Austin, Department of Psychology.


Recent scholarly attention has focused on explicating the nature of tobacco use among anxiety-vulnerable smokers. Anxiety sensitivity (fear of aversive internal anxiety states) is a cognitive-affective individual difference factor related to the development and maintenance of anxiety symptoms and disorders and various smoking processes. The present study examined the cross-sectional associations between anxiety sensitivity and a range of cognitive and behavioral smoking processes, and the mediating role of the tendency to respond inflexibly and with avoidance in the presence of smoking-related distress (i.e., avoidance and inflexibility to smoking [AIS]) in such relations. Participants (n = 466) were treatment-seeking daily tobacco smokers recruited as part of a larger tobacco cessation study. Baseline (pretreatment) data were utilized. Self-report measures were used to assess anxiety sensitivity, AIS, and 4 criterion variables: barriers to smoking cessation, quit attempt history, severity of problematic symptoms reported in past quit attempts, and mood-management smoking expectancies. Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity was indirectly related to greater barriers to cessation, greater number of prior quit attempts and greater mood-management smoking expectancies through the tendency to respond inflexibly/avoid to the presence of distressing smoking-related thoughts, feelings, and internal sensations; but not severity of problems experienced while quitting. The present findings suggest AIS may be an explanatory mechanism between anxiety sensitivity and certain smoking processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center