Hedonic capacity, cigarete craving, and diminished positive mood

Jessica Werth Cook, Bonnie Spring*, Dennis McChargue, Donald Hedeker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Cigarette craving has been linked to elevated negative and positive moods, but a connection to deficient positive affect has not been studied. We tested whether a low hedonic capacity predicts a heightened urge to smoke after acute nicotine deprivation, and whether such an effect is mediated by decreased positive mood or increased negative mood. A total of 35 smokers characterized for individual differences in hedonic capacity were deprived of nicotine for 48 hr. Using mixed-effects regression modeling, we found that lower hedonic capacity predicted greater increases in craving 24 hr after nicotine withdrawal, t(29) = -2.33, p=.03. The effect of hedonic capacity on increased 24-hr postquit craving to smoke was fully mediated by decreased positive affect. Findings suggest that in early nicotine withdrawal, smokers with diminished capacity to experience pleasure have heightened susceptibility to cigarette cravings that arises because of decreased positive mood rather than increased negative mood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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