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Journal of Addiction
Volume 2013, Article ID 276024, 8 pages
Research Article

An Association between Emotional Responsiveness and Smoking Behavior

1Division of Community Health Services, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO 80204, USA
2Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80045-0508, USA
3Driscoll Consulting, 866 Paragon Dr., Boulder, CO 80303, USA

Received 26 September 2012; Revised 23 October 2012; Accepted 23 October 2012

Academic Editor: Michael Joseph Zvolensky

Copyright © 2013 Robert D. Keeley and Margaret Driscoll. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Emotional responsiveness (ER) has been theorized to play a protective role in pathways to tobacco initiation, regular use, and dependence, yet a possible association between ER and smoking behavior has not been studied. Our aim was to test whether measuring ER to a neutral stimulus was associated with decreased odds of current smoking. Methods. We measured ER and smoking status (current, former, and never) in two datasets: a cross-sectional dataset of persons with diabetes ( ) and a prospective dataset of depressed patients ( ) from an urban primary care system. Because there were few former smokers in the datasets, smoking status was dichotomized (current versus former/never) and measured at baseline (cross-sectional dataset) or at 36 weeks after-baseline (prospective dataset). ER was ascertained with response to a neutral facial expression (any ER versus none). Results. Compared to their nonresponsive counterparts, adjusted odds of current smoking were lower among participants endorsing emotional responsiveness in both the cross-sectional and prospective datasets (ORs = .29 and .32, ’s , resp.). Discussion. ER may be protective against current smoking behavior. Further research investigating the association between ER and decreased smoking may hold potential to inform treatment approaches to improve smoking prevalence.