eCite Digital Repository

The relevance and treatment of cue-induced cravings in tobacco dependence


Ferguson, SG and Shiffman, S, The relevance and treatment of cue-induced cravings in tobacco dependence, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 36, (3) pp. 235-243. ISSN 0740-5472 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

The definitive version is available at

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2008.06.005


Craving to smoke is often conceptualized and measured as a tonic, slowly changing state induced by abstinence. In this article, we review the literature on the existence, causes, and treatment of cue-induced cravings: intense, episodic cravings typically provoked by situational cues associated with drug use. In laboratory research, smokers exposed to smoking-related cues demonstrate increased craving as well as distinct patterns of brain activation. Observational field studies indicate that such cue-induced cravings are substantially responsible for relapse to smoking but that smoking can often be averted by coping responses. The effects of pharmacological interventions are mixed. Steady-state medications (bupropion, varenicline, nicotine patch) do not appear to protect smokers from cue-induced cravings. However, acutely administered nicotine medications (such as nicotine gum and lozenge), used after cue exposure as "rescue medications," can help a smoker's recovery from cue-induced cravings. Cue-induced craving plays an important role in smoking and relapse and likely in other addictions as well. Treatments to mitigate the effect of cue-induced craving are both important and needed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cigarettes, cravings, treatments, nicotene patch,cognitive and behavioural therapy, bupropion,varenicline
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
ID Code:58986
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:224
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2009-11-11
Last Modified:2015-02-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page