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Title: Association of frequency of perceived exposure to discrimination with tobacco withdrawal symptoms and smoking lapse behavior in African Americans
Abstract Background and Aims

Frequent experiences of discrimination could increase vulnerability to tobacco withdrawal and smoking lapse in populations subject to tobacco‐related health disparities. This laboratory study (2013–17) examined whether individual differences in perceived exposure to discrimination in one's daily life predicted tobacco withdrawal symptoms and smoking lapse behavior following acute tobacco deprivation in African American smokers.


Mixed design with the between‐subjects continuous variable of perceived discrimination crossed with the within‐subject variable of tobacco deprivation status (deprived versus non‐deprived).


Academic medical center in Los Angeles, CA, USA.


African American non‐treatment seeking daily cigarette smokers (n = 607, ≥ 10 cig/day).


At a baseline visit, self‐reported frequency of perceived exposure to discrimination in one's daily life was measured [everyday discrimination scale (EDDS)]. At two subsequent counterbalanced experimental visits (16‐hour tobacco deprivation versusad‐libitumsmoking), self‐report assessments of various tobacco withdrawal symptom domains [Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urges), Wisconsin Smoking Withdrawal Scale (WSWS), Profile of Mood States (POMS), Snaith–Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS) and Current Impulsivity Scale (CIS)) and a behavioral smoking lapse analogue task were measured.


Adjusted models demonstrated that greater frequency of perceived exposure to discrimination was associated with larger deprivation‐induced increases in acute urges to smoke to alleviate negative mood, several negative mood states and subjective cognitive functioning—effect sizes were small in magnitude (βs = 0.09–0.13;Ps < 0.02). Data were inconclusive for associations between perceived exposure to discrimination and deprivation‐induced changes in cravings, urges to smoke for pleasure, positive mood reduction, other symptoms or smoking reinstatement behavior.


Frequency of perceived exposure to discrimination appears to be modestly associated with increased severity of some deprivation‐induced tobacco withdrawal symptoms in African American smokers.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Date Published:
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Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 914-925
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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