Impulsivity and cigarette craving among adolescent daily and occasional smokers

Amanda R. Mathew*, Jessica L. Burris, Brett Froeliger, Michael E. Saladin, Matthew J. Carpenter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Impulsivity is a multi-dimensional construct that is robustly related to cigarette smoking. While underlying factors that account for this relation are not well understood, craving has been proposed as a central mechanism linking impulsivity to smoking. In order to further refine our understanding of associations between impulsivity and cigarette craving, the current study examined the association between impulsivity and tonic and cue-elicited craving among a sample of adolescent smokers. We expected trait impulsivity would be positively associated with both tonic and cue-elicited craving, and that this relationship would be stronger among daily vs. occasional smokers. Methods: 106 smokers (ages 16-20) completed the questionnaires and reported their cigarette craving prior to and immediately following presentation of each of three counterbalanced cue types: (a) in vivo smoking, (b) alcohol, and (c) neutral cue. Results: Impulsivity was positively associated with tonic craving for daily smokers (. β=. .38; p=. .005), but not occasional smokers (. β=. .01; p=. .95), with a significant impulsivity x smoker group interaction (. β=. 1.31; p=. .03). Impulsivity was unrelated to craving following smoking or alcohol cue, regardless of smoker group (all p's. >. .16). Conclusions: Results suggest a moderated effect in which impulsivity is positively associated with tonic craving for daily smokers, but not occasional smokers. Tonic craving may serve as a mechanism linking impulsivity, smoking persistence, and nicotine dependence among daily smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Adolescence
  • Craving
  • Cue reactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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