Smoking-related cues elicit craving in tobacco "chippers": a replication and validation of the two-factor structure of the Questionnaire of Smoking Urges
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- Davies, G., Willner, P. & Morgan, M. Psychopharmacology (2000) 152: 334. doi:10.1007/s002130000526
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Rationale: The reliability and validity of the Questionnaire of Smoking Urges (QSU), a multi-factorial measure of cravings to smoke cigarettes has recently been called into question. Objective: In the first phase of the present study, the reliability of the two-factor structure of QSU was examined. The new and original factor structures were then used to investigate the effects of 2 h of abstinence from smoking, and exposure to smoking-related cues, in a subset of the same sample of regular smokers. The present study also investigated the effects of smoking-related cues on QSU measures in tobacco "chippers" (occasional non-dependent smokers). Methods: The factor structure of the QSU was investigated with a factor analysis of responses to the 32 QSU items produced by a sample of 271 regular smokers. A subset of these data was used to assess the influence of abstinence and cues on QSU factor scores. The final study used a sample of 32 tobacco chippers to assess the effect of smoking-related cues on their QSU factor scores. Results: The results revealed a two-factor structure almost identical to that published by Tiffany and Drobes. In the second experiment, a brief period of abstinence significantly elevated factor 1 scores, but not factor 2 scores, compared to the non-abstinent condition. Exposure to smoking-related cues significantly elevated factor 2 scores and also tended to elevate factor 1 scores. In experiment 3, exposure to smoking-related cues significantly elevated factor 1 scores, but not factor 2 scores, in tobacco chippers. Conclusion: The QSU is a psychometrically sound instrument for the assessment of urges to smoke, which shows good construct validity. The two factors of the QSU show differential discriminative properties.