• Body Image Concerns and Urge to Smoke among Physically Active and Sedentary College-age Female Smokers

      Napolitano, Melissa A.; Collins, Bradley N.; Sachs, Michael L.; DuCette, Joseph P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Introduction: Smoking is often used as a maladaptive weight control strategy among college-age females who have increased weight concerns. Many perceived benefits accrued from smoking including enhanced mood, reduced anxiety, and weight control can also be achieved through physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a novel behavioral task (body-image exposure task) that was designed to elicit weight concerns on urge to smoke among college-age female smokers who vary in levels of physical activity. Methods: Using a cue-reactivity paradigm, 16 sedentary and 21 physically active college-age female smokers were exposed to a pilot tested body-image exposure session. Self-reported urge and smoking topography variables were obtained before and after the exposure session along with measures of body dissatisfaction, positive and negative affect, and physical-appearance related anxiety at the two time-points. Results: Paired sample t-test showed significant increases in self-reported urge (p <.01) and quicker latency to first puff (p <.01) at post test for the entire sample. Significant differences were not seen in the other topography variables of puff duration, puff number, and inter-puff interval. Results of partial correlation indicated lower self-reported urge at post-test was associated with increased time engaging vigorous intensity physical activity (r =-0.44 ; p =.01). However, association between latency to first puff and physical activity was not significant (r=-.10; p=.62). The body-image exposure session also significantly increased body dissatisfaction (p < .01), and anxiety related to physical appearance (p < .01) while lowering positive affect at post-test (p <.01). Baseline measures of depressive symptoms were significantly associated with increased self-reported urge at post-test (r= .59, p = .03) urge though this relationship was not significant after controlling for vigorous intensity of physical activity (r = .33; p = .07) showing the potential protective effects of physical activity on smoking urges. Conclusion: These results suggest that physical activity can be protective of smoking urges in a situation that increases weight concerns among young women and emphasizes the need to incorporate physical activity components along with cognitive behavioral therapy in tailoring smoking cessation interventions in this population. Future research should continue to explore effects of physical activity on reactivity to body-cues and explore variability in cue-reactivity as a result of physical activity.