Experimental evidence for a causal relationship between smoking lapse and relapse

Laura M. Juliano, Eric C. Donny, Elisabeth J. Houtsmuller, Maxine L. Stitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In this study, the authors prospectively evaluated the impact of a smoking lapse on relapse probability. After 4 days of smoking abstinence, 60 smokers were randomly assigned to smoke 5 nicotine-containing or 5 denicotinized cigarettes, or to remain abstinent (no lapse) during a 4-hr time period. Afterward, smoking abstinence was encouraged with monetary incentives, and smoking behavior was tracked for 6 days. Relative to the no-lapse condition, exposure to either of the cigarette types more than doubled the probability of subsequent smoking. Smoking outcomes did not differ between nicotine-containing and denicotinized cigarettes. The data suggest that stimulus factors may play an important role in lapse to relapse processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Denicotinized
  • Lapse
  • Nicotine
  • Relapse
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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