Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Psychopharmacology DOI 10.1007/s00213-009-1661-x (2009). Copyright Neal Doran, Jessica Cook, Dennis McChargue, & Bonnie Spring. Published by Springer Verlag. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


Rationale: Cigarette smoking has been linked to a number of personality characteristics, including impulsivity. Smokers tend to endorse high levels of impulsivity, and more impulsive smokers have greater difficulty quitting, but little is known about potential explanatory mechanisms. Although indirect evidence suggests craving as a candidate mechanism, direct evidence has been mixed.
Materials and methods: This study assessed whether specific aspects of impulsivity (sensation seeking, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, and urgency) were associated with cue-induced craving. Regular smokers (n= 60; 50% female) were exposed to a smoking cue and a neutral cue in a repeated measure counter-balanced design.
Results: Mixed effects regression models indicated that smokers who were high in sensation seeking reported greater increases in appetitive craving after smoking cue exposure, whereas, smokers who were high in urgency and lack of perseverance reported greater increases in negative affect craving.
Conclusions: Findings suggest a complex relationship between impulsivity and cue-induced craving that may be masked by single construct conceptualizations of impulsivity.