Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res Bull. 2016 May;123:23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Cue-reactivity in experienced electronic cigarette users: Novel stimulus videos and a pilot fMRI study.

Author information

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, United States.
Center for The Study of Tobacco Products, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United States.
Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States.


Some individuals who try electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) continue to use long-term. Previous research has investigated the safety of e-cigarettes and their potential for use in smoking cessation, but comparatively little research has explored chronic or habitual e-cigarette use. In particular, the relationship between e-cigarette cues and craving is unknown. We sought to bridge this gap by developing a novel set of e-cigarette (salient) and electronic toothbrush (neutral) videos for use in cue-reactivity paradigms. Additionally, we demonstrate the utility of this approach in a pilot fMRI study of 7 experienced e-cigarette users. Participants were scanned while viewing the cue videos before and after 10min use of their own e-cigarettes (producing an 11.7ng/ml increase in plasma nicotine concentration). A significant session (pre- and post-use) by video type (salient and neutral) interaction was exhibited in many sensorimotor areas commonly activated in other cue-reactivity paradigms. We did not detect significant cue-related activity in other brain regions notable in the craving literature. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed, including the importance of matching cue stimuli to participants' experiences.


Craving; Cue; E-cigarette; E-cigs; Stimulus; fMRI

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center