Predicting smoking relapse with a multidimensional versus a single-item tobacco craving measure

Ivan Berlin, Edward G. Singleton, Stephen J. Heishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Research suggests that craving is a predictor of smoking relapse. Craving can be assessed by multiple item or multifactorial scales or by single items. However, no systematic comparisons of their prognostic validity or accuracy have been published. Methods: The French versions of the 12-item Tobacco Craving Questionnaire (FTCQ-12) and the single craving item on the Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Scale (MNWS) are brief, valid, and reliable self-report measures of tobacco craving. In this secondary study, we analyzed data from French smokers with health-related problems enrolled in the Adjustment of DOses of NIcotine in Smoking (ADONIS) cessation trial. We estimated prediction models for each measure and compared their ability to distinguish correctly participants who relapsed from those who did not at 1-8 weeks after their quit date. Results: Adjusted for all potential confounders FTCQ-12 risk score (RS; Factor 2, Expectancy plus Factor 4, Purposefulness) and MNWS craving were valid predictors of smoking relapse at endpoints measured 1-7 weeks apart. Prognostic accuracy of FTCQ-12 RS was greatest at 1-2 weeks follow-up compared to only 1 week for MNWS craving. Sensitivity for FTCQ-12 RS and MNWS craving was 85% and 53%, respectively. Conclusions: FTCQ-12 RS suggests a relapse process involving urges and desires in anticipation of the positive benefits of smoking linked with intent and planning to smoke. Findings also suggest that FTCQ-12 RS may be a better predictor instrument for smoking relapse than MNWS craving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Prognostic markers
  • Screening
  • Smoking relapse
  • Tobacco craving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting smoking relapse with a multidimensional versus a single-item tobacco craving measure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this