This study seeks to evaluate the relationship between PTSD, abstinence, and factors
associated with relapse in the context of a randomized, clinical smoking cessation trial.
Smokers with PTSD will be randomly assigned to 1 of 2 pre-cessation patch therapy conditions
(active patch versus placebo patch) for three weeks before a target quit-smoking date. All
participants to will receive bupropion beginning 1 week prior to their quit day, given that
they are medically eligible to be prescribed bupropion. All participants will receive a two
session brief cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) session and will begin standard nicotine
replacement therapy (NRT) on their quit day. PTSD symptoms, mood, and smoking craving will
be carefully evaluated throughout the study using electronic diary assessments on personal
digital assistants (PDA). Specifically, participants will carefully monitor their symptoms,
mood, craving, and use of cigarettes using electronic diaries for one week prior to the
pre-cessation period, during the 3-week pre-cessation treatment period, and 6 weeks post
quit date. Since no previous study has examined factors associated with smoking abstinence
following treatment among PTSD smokers10, predictors of treatment response will be examined.
The study is designed to address the following items:
Specific Aim 1: To evaluate whether supplemental nicotine administration (i.e.,
pre-cessation treatment with nicotine patch and bupropion) will result in improved quit
rates among smokers with PTSD.
Hypothesis 1.1 Supplemental nicotine administration during the pre-cessation period will
result in improved quit rates in the first quit week over the placebo patch condition.
Specific Aim 2: To utilize electronic diary assessment of PTSD symptoms, mood, smoking
craving, and smoking during baseline, pretreatment, and quit periods to evaluate potential
mechanisms of how pretreatment with the nicotine patch may increase abstinence rates.
Hypothesis 2.1 Supplemental nicotine administration will decrease craving for cigarettes
during the 2 week pretreatment period as compared to the placebo patch condition.
Hypothesis 2.2 Supplemental nicotine administration will decrease the perceived improvement
in mood and PTSD symptoms associated with smoking behavior, i.e., symptom relief from ad lib
smoking a cigarette will be reduced during supplemental nicotine administration as compared
to the placebo patch condition.
Specific Aim 3: To investigate potential predictors of smoking abstinence and relapse
associated with individual differences in affective style including anxiety sensitivity,
measures of distress tolerance, and self-efficacy.
Hypothesis 3.1 Increased anxiety sensitivity will be predictive of shorter abstinence from
Hypothesis 3.2 Decreased distress tolerance will be predictive of shorter abstinence.
Hypothesis 3.3 Lower self-efficacy for smoking abstinence will be predictive of shorter
Hypothesis 3.4 Increased PTSD symptoms severity and negative affect following the quit date
will be associated with shorter abstinence.
- Smokers who smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day in the past year;
- 18-80 years old;
- English speakers;
- medically stable;
- stable on current medication regimen
- Pregnant women excluded;
- participants with organic mental disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, lifetime
but not current PTSD, current substance abuse or dependence;
- medical conditions contraindicated with nicotine replacement therapy;
- use other forms of nicotine (cigars, nicotine gum, etc.)