Responses to positive and negative smoking-related images: effects of current smoking status and degree of smoking addiction

Addict Behav. 2005 Sep;30(8):1587-91. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.03.006.


The literature indicates that stimulant users of various dependency levels endorse and react differently to stimuli that portray the stimulant either positively or negatively, however these studies have not been extended to smoking. Here pictures are used to depict either positive or negative connotations of smoking. The current study concentrated on smokers with different levels of dependency. Seventy-three digital images were rated on both a smoking and emotional content scale. The pictures were rank ordered, yielding the 10 most positive and negative smoking-related pictures. Emotional content scores for these pictures were also recorded. Data from 148 subjects [light- (n=28), heavy- (n=17), ex- (n=32) and never-smokers (n=71)] were analysed. Using a mixed factorial ANOVA light- and heavy-smokers were found to score positive pictures significantly more positive than the never-smokers, they did not vary on negative or emotional ratings. Thus positive pictures did not distinguish heavy and light levels of substance use as suggested by the literature and this was not influenced by emotional content.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychological Tests
  • Smoking / psychology*