Publication Abstract

Authors: Watson NL, Heffner JL, McClure JB, Mull KE, Bricker JB

Title: Differential prevalence of established risk factors for poor cessation outcomes among smokers by level of social anxiety.

Journal: Am J Addict 26(2):176-182

Date: 2017 Mar

Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Despite clear associations between social anxiety (SA), high prevalence of smoking, and cessation failure, little is known about factors contributing to these relationships. Moreover, the extent to which smokers with moderate SA represent an at-risk group of smokers is also unknown. This study examined the extent to which established risk factors for poor cessation (eg, sociodemographic, smoking history, mental health comorbidity) are prevalent among smokers with low, moderate, and high levels of SA. METHODS: Participants (Nā€‰=ā€‰2,637) were adult smokers from a web-based smoking cessation trial. Nineteen characteristics considered risk factors for poor cessation outcomes were assessed at baseline. Those associated with social anxiety were subsequently compared by SA level. RESULTS: Regression models indicated that 10/19 risk factors were associated with SA. Compared to smokers with low SA, those with moderate and high SA endorsed 4/10 and 10/10 risk factors as more prevalent or severe, respectively. Compared to smokers with low SA, High SA was associated with greater sociodemographic risk factors, while both moderate and high SA was associated with more severe mental health symptoms. CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Smokers with moderate and high levels of SA endorse more risk factors for poor cessation outcomes than those with low levels of SA, particularly mental health symptoms. These factors may help explain the differential smoking outcomes of socially anxious smokers. Results suggest that smokers with both moderate and high levels of SA would likely benefit from cessation interventions that address and consider these risk factors. (Am J Addict 2017;26:176-182).