The relationship between nicotine dependence and cue- induced cigarette craving
Dunbar, MS and Shiffman, S and Ferguson, SG and Kirchner, T and Tindle, H and Scholl, S, The relationship between nicotine dependence and cue- induced cigarette craving, 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco - Abstracts, 13-16 March, 2012, Toronto, Canada, pp. 103. ISSN 1469-994X (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Copyright 2011 Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco
Background: Most models of dependence posit that dependence is related to
background craving – a tonic state of craving when deprived. Theory and research are
conflicted about how dependence relates to cue-induced craving – phasic increases in
response to cues. Some models consider cue-induced craving part of dependence, and
others imply that cue-responsivity disappears with dependence. These associations are
further complicated by the a variety of measures of nicotine dependence, which take
different theoretical approaches to the conceptualization of dependence.
Method: Participants (n=198, 57% men) were daily smokers averaging 16.01 (6.71)
cigarettes per day. Participants were not trying to quit smoking. We examined data from
4 cue-reactivity sessions, with cue sets (smoking, negative affect, positive affect, neutral)
counterbalanced across sessions. In each session, after a 30-minute deprivation period,
participants viewed 30 cue-relevant photos validated for content and shown over 3 minutes
(6 seconds each). Participants rated their craving before and after cues (QSU-Brief,
scaled as 1-49). Participants completed measures of nicotine dependence (FTND, NDSS,
WISDM-68), which were used to predict craving. Multivariate and univariate regression
models were used to predict background craving (pre-cue) and cue-induced craving
(pre-post cue change scores) for QSU Factors 1 and 2.
Results: Dependence measures predicted background craving, both factors 1 and
2. They did not predict cue response (controlling for session number and change in
response to the neutral cue) for any cue.
Conclusion: Cue-induced craving is unrelated to nicotine dependence, as traditionally
assessed. Models and measures of dependence must take into account cue-induced
craving. Future studies should examine the relationship between reactivity to cues and
actual smoking behavior, in order to better understand how reactivity to cues and nicotine
dependence may function independently or synergistically to influence smoking behavior.