, 2009). For example, rates of depression are significantly higher in smokers relative to the general population (Covey, Glassman, & Stetner, 1998; Lasser et al., 2000), and there are established associations between anxiety disorders and smoking behavior selleck bio (Zvolensky & Bernstein, 2005). To our knowledge, no previous work has directly examined whether the relation of psychological distress to smoking behavior differs as a function of race or ethnicity (although there have been examinations of specific types of distress; e.g., Berg, Choi, Kaur, Nollen, & Ahluwalia, 2009; Nezami et al., 2005). There is, however, some evidence that suggests it is at least possible that there might be differences. There is substantial evidence that nicotine metabolism differs as a function of race; for example, metabolism is typically slower in Black smokers relative to their White counterparts (Benowitz et al.
, 1999; Perez-Stable, Herrera, Jacob, & Benowitz, 1998). This difference in metabolism leads to differences in serum nicotine/cotinine levels as a function of cigarettes consumed (Caraballo et al., 1998) and might explain at least some of the racial variation in smoking patterns and amounts (Moolchan et al., 2006). Given that a key physiological effect of nicotine is activation of the dopamine reward pathway (Di Chiara & Imperato, 1988; Volkow & Wise, 2005; Wise & Rompre, 1989), the documented differences in nicotine metabolism by race might plausibly impact the affective effects of nicotine consumption.
This could lead to differences in whether and how affective and psychological distress states influence smoking behavior by race, given that a typical hypothesis for why negative affectivity and psychological distress are associated with smoking is a mood-regulation hypothesis (Kassel et al., 2003). Given the plausibility of a difference in the relation of psychological distress to smoking as a function of race, we tested whether the strength and/or direction of the relation between generalized psychological distress and smoking differed among White, Black, and Hispanic respondents to a nationally representative telephone survey. We explored the relation of generalized psychological distress (assessed with Kessler’s K6 instrument, which has been shown to be predictive of smoking in other population representative samples; Hagman et al.
, 2008) to current smoking status and, for current smokers, to number of cigarettes smoked per day. We conducted moderator analyses to determine if the strength and/or direction of the relation differed by participant race/ethnicity. Cilengitide Methods The study reported here used data from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 2007 dataset. HINTS is a survey study of a nationally representative sample.