Effect of impulsivity on craving and behavioral reactivity to smoking cues

Neal Doran*, Bonnie Spring, Dennis McChargue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Nearly 25% of American adults remain regular smokers. Current smokers may be especially likely to possess characteristics that impair their ability to quit, such as impulsivity. Impulsive individuals may be overly prone to smoke because they are particularly drawn to rewarding stimuli and related cues. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that more impulsive smokers are more responsive to cigarette cues than other smokers. Materials and methods: In a repeated measures design, 60 euthymic, adult smokers (50% female) were exposed to a smoking cue and a neutral cue in two experimental sessions. Cue reactivity was operationalized as changes in cigarette craving and preference for immediate vs delayed smoking after cue exposure. Results: Impulsivity predicted a heightened craving response to both cues but particularly the smoking cue (t [161] = 3.21, p = 0.002). Smokers with high levels of impulsivity exhibited a greater preference for immediate rewards over larger, delayed rewards in terms of both hypothetical (t [58] = 5.99, p = 0.001) and actual (z = 3.02, p = 0.003) rewards. Conclusion: These data suggest that increased reactivity to environmental smoking cues contributes to the link between impulsivity and smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume194
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

Keywords

  • Disinhibition
  • Nicotine
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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