Background and objectives: Female smokers have greater difficulty quitting, possibly due to increased reactivity to smoking-related cues. This study assessed sex differences in craving, affect, and preference for immediate smoking after cue exposure.
Methods: Regular smokers (n = 60; 50% female) were exposed to smoking and neutral cues in separate, counterbalanced sessions. Outcomes included changes in craving and affect and preference for immediate smoking following cue exposure.
Results: Findings indicated that women exhibited greater preference for immediate smoking (p = .004), and reported greater cue-induced increases in cigarette craving (p = .046) and negative affect (p = .025).
Discussion and conclusions: These data suggest that women may have greater difficulty inhibiting smoking after cue exposure, possibly as a consequence of greater increases in craving and negative affect.
Scientific significance and future directions: Findings suggest a mechanism that may contribute to greater cessation failure among female smokers.
© American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.