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Abstract

Smoking prevalence among patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is over 40%. Baseline data from the VA Cooperative Studies Program trial of integrated versus usual care for smoking cessation in veterans with PTSD (N = 863) were used in multivariate analyses of PTSD and depression severity, and 4 measures of smoking intensity: cigarettes per day (CPD), Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), time to first cigarette, and expired carbon monoxide. Multivariate regression analysis showed the following significant associations: CPD with race (B = −7.16), age (B = 0.11), and emotional numbing (B =0 .16); FTND with race (B = −0.94), education (B = −0.34), emotional numbing (B = 0.04), significant distress (B = −0.12), and PHQ-9 (B = 0.04); time to first cigarette with education (B = 0.41), emotional numbing (B = −0.03), significant distress (B = 0.09), and PHQ-9 (B = −0.03); and expired carbon monoxide with race (B = −9.40). Findings suggest that among veterans with PTSD, White race and emotional numbing were most consistently related to increased smoking intensity and had more explanatory power than total PTSD symptom score. Results suggest specific PTSD symptom clusters are important to understanding smoking behavior in patients with PTSD.