Tobacco craving in smokers with and without schizophrenia

Suzanne Lo, Stephen J. Heishman, Heather Raley, Katherine Wright, Heidi J. Wehring, Eric T. Moolchan, Stephanie Feldman, Fang Liu, Robert P. McMahon, Charles M. Richardson, Deanna L. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We examined tobacco craving and dependence in current smokers (18-65 years) with schizophrenia (N= 100) and those without a psychiatric disorder (normal controls, N= 100). During the 2-3 h visit participants completed demographic and smoking-related questionnaires and provided a breath CO sample. The Tobacco Craving Questionnaire-Short Form (TCQ-SF) was administered. Immediately after smoking one cigarette, no difference in TCQ-SF total score was noted (46.7 ± 19.5 schizophrenia, 42.8 ± 18.2 controls, p= 0.15); however, after 15 min TCQ-SF total score was significantly higher in people with schizophrenia (50.0 ± 19.6) than in controls (38.6 ± 19.4) (p= 0.0014). TCQ-SF factors of emotionality (p= 0.0015), compulsivity (p= 0.0003) and purposefulness (p= 0.0174) were significantly greater in the schizophrenia group than the control group. FTND scores (5.5 ± 2.0 vs 5.3 ± 2.0, p= 0.62) number of cigarettes smoked daily (17.9 ± 11.6 vs. 17.0 ± 7.9), expired breath CO (28.0 ± 14.5. ppm vs. 22.0 ± 8.0. ppm) and age at smoking initiation (16.2 ± 5.4 vs. 15.6 ± 5.5. years, p= 0.44) did not differ in the schizophrenia and control groups respectively. In conclusion, tobacco craving as measured by the TCQ-SF was significantly greater in people with schizophrenia than controls 15 min post-smoking, despite similar scores in dependence and similar smoking histories and current smoking patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Craving
  • Dependency
  • Nicotine
  • Schizophrenia
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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