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Addict Behav. 1995 Sep-Oct;20(5):657-73.

Effect of smoking cues and cigarette availability on craving and smoking behavior.

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Treatment Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6178, USA.


This study examined whether smokers respond differently to smoking cues than to affectively neutral or unpleasant cues without smoking content, and whether reactivity is affected by expectations regarding the opportunity to smoke. Expectancy was manipulated by telling subjects in group SMOKE that they could smoke, and subjects in group NO SMOKE that they could not smoke following each cue-reactivity session. The dependent variables were subjective ratings of "desire to smoke", "high", "withdrawal", and mood, as well as latency to initiate smoking measured in group SMOKE. Statistical analyses demonstrated that only group SMOKE (a) reported greater "desire to smoke" and "withdrawal" to the smoking cues compared to the baseline, (b) reported greater "desire to smoke" to the smoking cues than to the unpleasant or to the neutral cues, and (c) smoked faster after the smoking cues than after the neutral cues. Both groups rated the unpleasant cues as affectively more negative than the neutral cues. The data suggest that the impact of drug-cues on craving and subsequent drug-use is due to their drug-related content, and not to negative affect. Furthermore, the impact of drug-related cues appears to be influenced by perceived drug-availability.

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