Effect of cue exposure, urge to smoke, and nicotine deprivation on cognitive performance in smokers

R.C. Havermans*, S. Debaere, F.T. Smulders, R.W. Wiers, A.T. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

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The primary aim of this investigation was to test the hypothesis that the urge to smoke interferes directly with cognitive performance. Fifty-four smokers were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (a) ad lib, (b) deprived, or (c) nicotine patch. Participants rated their urge to smoke on continuous visual analogue scales. Cognitive performance was determined by measuring reaction times (RTs) on a Sternberg task. The deprived group reported a higher urge and had longer RTs than the ad lib group when exposed to smoking-related cues. However, the nicotine patch group reported a higher urge in the absence of longer RTs. The results indicated that nicotine deprivation affects cognitive performance and that the urge to smoke only partially mediated RTs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-339
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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