Asking questions about urges or cravings for cigarettes

Lynn T. Kozlowski, Janine L. Pillitteri, Christine T. Sweeney, Keith E. Whitfield, John W. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Smokers (N = 116) were administered the Questionnaire of Smoking Urges (QSU; S.T. Tiffany and D.J. Drobes, 1991) to explore the measurement of drug urges or cravings. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the 2-factor structure, using the 6 best items on each of the QSU factors, although further analyses indicated that 1 conceptual factor may be a better fit. Three different categories of internally consistent items were identified within the QSU: urges to smoke, expectancies from smoking, and intentions to smoke. Path-modeling techniques were used to demonstrate patterns of interrelationships among these categories. Despite the widespread criticism of single-item scales, the present approach indicated that they are useful. In this sample, a 2-item or 3-item 'desire' scale effectively measured urges to smoke. Complex scales can obscure the direct measurement of urges or cravings for a cigarette.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-260
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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