Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 159–182

Measuring nicotine dependence: A review of the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire

  • Karl -Oiov Fagerstrom
  • Nina G. Schneider

DOI: 10.1007/BF00846549

Cite this article as:
Fagerstrom, K.O. & Schneider, N.G. J Behav Med (1989) 12: 159. doi:10.1007/BF00846549


In the last decade, the importance of nicotine in maintaining smoking and in cessation difficulty has been acknowledged. Consequently, this has led to efforts to measure nicotine dependence. This paper focuses on a widely used, paper-and-pencil test of nicotine dependence- the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (FTQ). The findings indicate that the FTQ correlates with other proposed measures of nicotine dependence (carbon monoxide, nicotine, and cotinine levels). The connection between FTQ scores and withdrawal symptoms is weak. In clinic outcome trials, the FTQ predicted success where no pharmacologic treatment was involved, while nicotine replacement appeared to mask the relation between FTQ scores and outcome. However, the FTQ may predict outcome with nicotine replacement as a function of dose. In placebo-controlled, nicotine replacement trials, FTQ scores were related to success by treatment. Problems with the FTQ are described with focus on item difficulties and analyses of the scale.

Key words

nicotine dependence or addictionFagerstrom Tolerance Questionnairetobacco dependencesmoking

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl -Oiov Fagerstrom
    • 1
  • Nina G. Schneider
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Pharmacia Leo TherapeuticsHelsingborgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUCLA School of MedicineLos Angeles
  3. 3.Psychopharmacology UnitVA Medical CenterLos Angeles