Responses to smoking-related stimuli and early relapse to smoking

Raymond Niaura, David Abrams, Brian Demuth, Rodger Pinto, Peter Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior to engaging in treatment for smoking cessation, subjects were tested for their responsiveness to cigarette smoking cues. Subjects performed a role-play with a confederate who lit their preferred brand of cigarette. Heart rate (HR) and galvanic skin conductance were assessed continuously, while urge to smoke and anxiety were rated subjectively after the role-play. Three months after treatment ended, subjects were divided into groups of continuous quitters, verified by expired carbon monoxide measurement, and relapsers. The results showed a significant difference between the groups in the pattern of pretreatment HR response to the lighting of the cigarette; relapsers displayed a sharp HR deceleration in response to the stimulus, while quitters' HR did not decelerate. The theoretical and clinical significance of these results is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-428
Number of pages10
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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