Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Joseph W. Ditre


Cigarette Smoking, Pain, Pain Characteristics, Smoking Cessation

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Although cigarette smokers with co-occurring pain report experiencing more severe nicotine withdrawal and greater difficulty quitting, limited work has examined the role of pain in smoking cessation-related outcomes. The goal of this study was to examine clinically-relevant pain characteristics (i.e., pain persistence, pain intensity, and pain-related disability) as predictors of withdrawal and smoking lapse/relapse outcomes using an established laboratory model of cessation. Participants (N = 120 daily cigarette smokers; 48% male; MAge = 36.17, SD = 12.16; MCPD = 20.51, SD = 6.99) were randomized to either continued smoking or 12-hour nicotine deprivation conditions prior to an experimental study visit. Upon arrival to the laboratory, participants completed measures of pain characteristics and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Primary outcomes included nicotine withdrawal scores and analogs of smoking lapse (i.e., latency to initiating smoking) and relapse (i.e., number of cigarettes smoked). Results indicated that persistent pain and nicotine deprivation each predicted more severe nicotine withdrawal. Cox regression analyses further revealed that moderate-to-severe pain-related disability and nicotine deprivation each predicted quicker latency to lapse during the laboratory cessation paradigm. Contrary to expectation, there were no statistically-significant interactions between nicotine deprivation and pain characteristics. Clinical implications include the possibility that smokers with pain would likely benefit from tailored and integrated cessation treatment.


Open Access



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.