Tobacco craving predicts lapse to smoking among adolescent smokers in cessation treatment

Kara S. Bagot, Stephen J. Heishman, Eric T. Moolchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Previous research indicates that tobacco craving predicts relapse to smoking among adult smokers attempting to quit. We hypothesized a similar relationship between craving and lapse (any smoking following a period of abstinence) among adolescent smokers during the treatment phase of a clinical trial. A visit was considered a lapse visit if the participant reported smoking or had a carbon monoxide level of 7 ppm or greater subsequent to an abstinent visit. A total of 34 participants (mean age=14.9 years [SD=1.3]; mean cigarettes/day=18.0 [SD=7.6]; mean Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence score=6.8 [SD=1.34]; 65% female), were included in the present analysis of 167 treatment visits. Logistic regression analyses showed a positive relationship between degree of craving, measured by the Questionnaire on Smoking Urges, and lapse during smoking cessation treatment (p=.013). Additionally, linear regression analyses demonstrated a strong positive association between cigarettes smoked per day and craving scores (p<.001). Taken together with other data, these findings suggest that degree of craving might influence tobacco abstinence for adolescent smokers. Thus monitoring and addressing craving appears useful to increase the success of adolescent smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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