Previous studies have suggested that sensory cues associated with cigarette smoking can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including craving for cigarettes. In this study we investigated the subjective effects of a cigarette substitute delivering a vapor of black pepper essential oil. Forty-eight cigarette smokers participated in a 3-h session conducted after overnight deprivation from smoking. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: one group of smokers puffed on a device that delivered a vapor from essential oil of black pepper; a second group puffed on the device with a mint/menthol cartridge, and a third group used a device containing an empty cartridge. Subjects puffed and inhaled ad libitum from the device throughout the session during which no smoking was allowed. Reported craving for cigarettes was significantly reduced in the pepper condition relative to each of the two control conditions. In addition, negative affect and somatic symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the pepper condition relative to the unflavored placebo. The intensity of sensations in the chest was also significantly higher for the pepper condition. These results support the view that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cigarette substitutes delivering pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment.