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Psychol Addict Behav. 2003 Dec;17(4):336-9.

Effect of cue exposure, urge to smoke, and nicotine deprivation on cognitive performance in smokers.

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Faculty of Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.


The primary aim of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that the urge to smoke interferes directly with cognitive performance. Fifty-four smokers were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (a). ad lib, (b). deprived, or (c). nicotine patch. Participants rated their urge to smoke on continuous visual analogue scales. Cognitive performance was determined by measuring reaction times (RTs) on a Sternberg task. The deprived group reported a higher urge and had longer RTs than the ad lib group when exposed to smoking-related cues. However, the nicotine patch group reported a higher urge in the absence of longer RTs. The results indicated that nicotine deprivation affects cognitive performance and that the urge to smoke only partially mediated RTs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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