Previous research has not compared implicit affective responses to smoking-related stimuli in occasional (i.e., those who smoke less than one cigarette per day) and daily smokers (i.e., those who smoke at least once per day). In addition to assessing their motivations for smoking, implicit affective responses were measured using the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) in occasional (n = 19) and daily smokers (n = 34) to smoking-related and neutral cues. Half of the cues depicted a human interacting with an object (i.e., active), whereas the remaining cues depicted objects alone (i.e., inactive). Results indicated that for the active cues, daily smokers responded more positively to smoking-related than to neutral cues, whereas occasional smokers showed no difference in their implicit responses. In addition to smoking frequency, relative differences in implicit responses to active cues were related to cognitive enhancement motivation. For inactive cues, implicit responses were related to cognitive enhancement as well as reinforcement. Because daily smokers have more positive implicit responses to active smoking-related cues than occasional smokers, these cues may play an important role in maintaining smoking behavior in daily smokers.
Haight, John; Dickter, Cheryl L.; and Forestell, Catherine A., A Comparison of Daily and Occasional Smokers' Implicit Affective Responses to Smoking Cues (2012). Addictive Behaviors, 37(3), 234-239.