Poor inhibitory control has been shown to be an important predictor of relapse to a number of drugs, including nicotine. Indeed, smokers who exhibit higher levels of impulsivity are thought to have impaired regulation of urges to smoke, and previous research has suggested that impulsivity may moderate cue-induced cigarette cravings. To that end, we conducted a study to evaluate the interplay between failed smoking cessation, cue-induced craving, and impulsivity.
Current smokers (n = 151) rated their cigarette cravings before and after laboratory to exposure to smoking cues, and completed questionnaires assessing impulsivity and previous failed quit attempts.
Findings indicated that shorter duration of previous failed quit attempts was related to higher cue-induced cigarette craving, especially among smokers with higher levels of impulsivity.
Results underscore the importance of considering trait impulsivity as a factor in better understanding the management of cue-induced cravings.