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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Tobacco Withdrawal Amongst African American, Hispanic, and White Smokers.

Monday, June 20, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Mariel S. Bello, BS, Raina D. Pang, PhD, Karen L. Cropsey, PsyD, Michael J. Zvolensky, PhD, Lorraine R. Reitzel, PhD, Jimi Huh, PhD1 and Adam M. Leventhal, PhD.
Tobacco Withdrawal Amongst African American, Hispanic, and White Smokers.
Nicotine Tob Res
 (2016) 18 (6):1479-1487.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv231First published online: October 18, 2015  

Persistent tobacco use among racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States is a critical public health concern. Yet, potential sources of racial/ethnic disparities in tobacco use remain unclear. The present study examined racial/ethnic differences in tobacco withdrawal—a clinically-relevant underpinning of tobacco use that has received sparse attention in the disparities literature—utilizing a controlled laboratory design. Daily smokers (non-Hispanic African American [n = 178], non-Hispanic white [n = 118], and Hispanic [n = 28]) attended two counterbalanced sessions (non-abstinent vs. 16-hour abstinent). At both sessions, self-report measures of urge, nicotine withdrawal, and affect were administered and performance on an objective behavioral task that assessed motivation to reinstate smoking was recorded. Abstinence-induced changes (abstinent scores vs. non-abstinent scores) were analyzed as a function of race/ethnicity.
 
Non-Hispanic African American smokers reported greater abstinence-induced declines in several positive affect states in comparison to other racial/ethnic groups. Relative to Hispanic smokers, non-Hispanic African American and non-Hispanic white smokers displayed larger abstinence-provoked increases in urges to smoke. No racial/ethnic differences were detected for a composite measure of nicotine withdrawal symptomatology, negative affect states, and motivation to reinstate smoking behavior. These results suggest qualitative differences in the expression of some components of tobacco withdrawal across three racial/ethnic groups. This research helps shed light on bio-behavioral sources of tobacco-related health disparities, informs the application of smoking cessation interventions across racial/ethnic groups, and may ultimately aid the overall effort towards reducing the public health burden of tobacco addiction in minority populations. The current study provides some initial evidence that there may be qualitative differences in the types of tobacco withdrawal symptoms experienced among non-Hispanic African American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white smokers. Extending this line of inquiry may elucidate mechanisms involved in tobacco-related health disparities and ultimately aid in reducing the public health burden of smoking in racial/ethnic minority populations.

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