INTRODUCTION Despite the increased rates of smoking and poor cessation outcomes among individuals with asthma relative to those without, little scholarly attention has examined mechanisms linking asthma to smoking cessation processes. The current study sought to examine the indirect effect of anxiety sensitivity in terms of asthma and smoking cessation processes (i.e., duration of longest quit attempt, motivation to quit smoking, smoking dependence motives). METHODS Participants were 90 regular daily smokers: 43 with asthma (51.2% male, M(age) = 38.0 years, SD = 12.5) and 47 without asthma (46.8% male, M(age) = 35.4 years, SD = 11.2) who were participating in a larger smoking cessation study. Data from the baseline (pre-quit attempt) assessment session were used. RESULTS After accounting for the effects of gender, race, daily smoking rate, and negative affectivity, asthma status was indirectly related to motives for smoking related to nicotine dependence and motivation to quit smoking through anxiety sensitivity. There was no significant indirect effect for duration of longest quit attempt. CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that smokers with asthma may be particularly fearful of physiological arousal, which in turn, may account for greater motivation to quit smoking, but also stronger dependence motives for smoking.