Cue-Elicited Negative Affect in Impulsive Smokers

Neal Doran, Jessica Cook, Dennis McChargue, Mark Myers, Bonnie Spring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Impulsivity is associated with cigarette smoking, but the nature of this relationship and the mechanisms that maintain it are relatively unknown. The relationship has often been thought to reflect appetitive processes, but research suggests that an affective pathway exists as well. The present study tested the effect of impulsivity on affective responses to an environmental smoking cue. Adult smokers (N = 62) were exposed to a neutral cue and a smoking cue in separate experimental sessions in a repeated-measures design. Mixed-effects regression analyses showed that larger postexposure increases in negative affect were associated with high scores on 2 facets of impulsivity: urgency, t(179) = 6.16, p < .001, and sensation seeking, t(179) = 4.75, p < .001. Heightened impulsivity was associated with lower levels of positive affect generally but not with positive affective responses to cue exposure. Findings provide support for the existence of a negative affective pathway linking impulsivity and cigarette smoking, and they suggest that this pathway may be specific to the urgency and sensation-seeking components of impulsivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • impulsivity
  • negative affect
  • nicotine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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