This review describes how measures of a prominent three-dimensional hierarchical model of personality traits relate to substance use. H. J. Eysenck proposed a biologically based model of personality that gave rise to related models such as those of J. A. Gray, C. R. Cloninger, and M. Zuckerman. The varying role of impulsivity--a trait related to disinhibition, approach motivation, novelty seeking, and sensation seeking--in successive self-report measures of this model, including the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), is described. It is argued that certain findings in experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal research using these measures point to the importance of impulsivity as a temperamental vulnerability factor for substance use.