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Impact of Positive Mood on Self-Control Depletion in Smoking

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Dikla Shmueli, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2007 (Cycle 16) Grant #: 16FT-0050 Award: $63,340
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Despite the risks associated with smoking, many people are worried about gaining weight if they quit. These concerns may lead to dieting while attempting to quit smoking, however research has shown that dieting may actually damage attempts to quit smoking. The current study uses a ground-breaking new model of self-control to examine why dieting may in fact damage attempts to control smoking. More importantly, we test a brief intervention strategy to help people who want to manage their weight while trying to quit smoking.

The self-control strength model suggests that people have a limited supply of self-control to use for various acts that require willpower, such as resisting temptations. Using self-control on one task (dieting) may use up part of this strength, and thus weaken later attempts to use self-control (quit smoking). That is why dieting (e.g., resisting tempting foods) may damage attempts to resist smoking. However, this study will examine the potential restorative effect positive emotions have on people’s self-control strength so that they can successfully engage in both dietary restraint and resisting the urge to smoke. Previous studies demonstrate that positive emotions are related to positive health outcomes, such as less risk of stroke, and fewer instances of death among HIV+ patients. In this study we will test the effect of positive emotions on smoking behavior using a randomized controlled trial design experiment in a controlled laboratory setting.

This experiment serves as a scientific foundation designed to be applied to clinical interventions for people who want to quit smoking. This responds to the mission of the TRDRP, which supports the development of more effective treatments for smoking cessation. This type of treatment tool could be beneficial for individuals who desire to quit smoking and at the same time diet in order not to gain weight. The benefits to society could be immense, if people who would normally refuse to quit smoking because they are worried about gaining weight, had the option of this type of intervention strategy that allows them to address both issues.
Publications

Changes in psychiatric patients' thoughts about quitting smoking during a smoke free hospitalization
Periodical: Nicotine and Tobacco Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Shmueli, D., Fletcher, L., Hall, S.E., Hall, S.M., & Prochaska, J.J. ART
Yr: 2008 Vol: 10 Nbr: 5 Abs: Pg: 875-881

Resisting tempting foods and smoking behavior: Implications from a self-control theory perspective.
Periodical: Health Psychology Index Medicus:
Authors: Shmueli, D.; & Prochaska, J ART
Yr: 2009 Vol: Nbr: 28 Abs: Pg: 300-306