Introduction: Research suggests a strong association between negative affect (NA) and smoking. However, little is known about the association between NA and smoking among individuals who switch to reduced-nicotine cigarettes. The goal of this study was to examine the extent to which cigarette nicotine content moderates the relationship between NA and smoking over time. Methods: Seven hundred and seventeen participants, 237 in the normal nicotine content (NNC; 15.8 mg/g and usual brand) cigarette group and 480 in the very low nicotine content (VLNC; 2.4 mg/g nicotine or less) cigarette group, participated in a randomized trial that examined the effects of cigarette nicotine content on smoking behavior over 6 weeks. We used parallel process latent growth curve modeling to estimate the relationship between changes in NA and changes in the numbers of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD), from baseline to 6 weeks, as a function of cigarette nicotine content. Results: The relationship between NA and investigational CPD reduced over time for those in the VLNC group, but not for those in the NNC group. There was no significant relationship between change in PA and CPD over time for either cigarette group. Conclusions: Smoking VLNC cigarettes disrupts the relationship between smoking and negative affect, which may help reduce nicotine dependence. Implications: This study suggests that the association between NA and smoking behavior is reduced over time among those that smoked reduced-nicotine content cigarettes. This provides additional evidence that smoking reduced-nicotine content cigarettes may help reduce nicotine dependence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP; grant number: U54DA031659). The experimental cigarettes were provided by NIDA’s Drug Supply Program (NOT-DA-14-004). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the FDA.