Smokers' expectancies for nicotine replacement therapy vs. cigarettes

Nicotine Tob Res. 2004 Jun;6(3):569-74. doi: 10.1080/14622200410001696574.


Smokers (N=188) recruited from the local community completed a questionnaire that measured expected outcomes of using cigarettes, nicotine gum, nicotine patch, and nicotine nasal spray. Expectancy questions relating to negative affect, craving, weight, and health risks were derived from the Smoking Consequences Questionnaire-Adult. As predicted, smokers held much greater expectancies that cigarettes help control negative affect, craving, and weight relative to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). All NRT products were expected to cause fewer health risks than cigarette smoking. As predicted, smokers held strong negative affect reduction expectancies for cigarette smoking. For NRT, although still relatively low, craving reduction was the strongest expectancy. Individuals who had experience using the nicotine patch had greater positive expectancies for NRT. Greater positive expectancies for NRT were correlated with more immediate plans to quit smoking. In summary, cigarette smokers' positive expectancies about cigarettes do not appear to generalize to NRT products, which may limit their use and effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Ganglionic Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Ganglionic Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Ganglionic Stimulants
  • Nicotine