Findings support the utility of the QSU-Brief as a measure of craving among Black light smokers and further maintain a multidimensional conceptualization of craving to smoke. Results indicated that in a sample of Black light smokers, the QSU-brief demonstrated the same two-factor structure previously identified in samples of Chinese and U.S. Caucasian moderate to heavy smokers (Araujo, Oliveira, & Mansur, 2006
; Cox et al., 2001
; Yu et al., 2010
) and similar to that found in a Spanish sample (Cepeda-Benito & Reig-Ferrer, 2004
Overall findings were consistent with the original evaluation of QSU-Brief in a predominantly Caucasian sample of moderate to heavy smokers (Cox et al., 2001
). With the current sample of Black light smokers, results found Items 1, 3, 6, 7, and 10 loaded on Factor 1, indicating a strong desire to smoke with smoking perceived as rewarding. Items 4, 8, and 9 loaded on Factor 2 representing anticipated relief from depressed mood and an urgent desire to smoke. These findings support the conceptualization of craving reflecting smoking anticipated to produce both positively reinforcing (Factor 1) and negatively reinforcing (Factor 2) effects. Further, as found in the original study, Item 2 (“nothing would be better than smoking a cigarette right now”) did not demonstrate strong loading on either Factor 1 or Factor 2. Similar to laboratory and quitting conditions of the original QSU-Brief evaluation, but unlike the pretreatment condition (Cox et al., 2001
), Item 5 (“all I want right now is a cigarette”) demonstrated moderate loadings on both Factor 1 and Factor 2. Within the previous Caucasian sample under the condition of smokers entering treatment, Item 5 showed strong loading on Factor 2; however, Item 5 demonstrated only modest loading on both Factor 1 and Factor 2 after smokers quit smoking (Cox et al., 2001
). Whether such a finding would be replicated in other samples (e.g., Caucasian or Black, light or heavier smokers) merits further study.
The current findings are also consistent with the two-factor structure found in previous evaluation of a sample of recently quit (≤7 days of self-reported abstinence) Chinese moderate to heavy smokers (≥10 cpd; Yu et al., 2010
). Further, while the Spanish version of the QSU-Brief adapted wording of some items, a similar two-factor structure was maintained (Cepeda-Benito & Reig-Ferrer, 2004
). In all studies, results indicated the QSU-Brief may serve as a measure of global craving or may be used to capture multiple dimensions of craving (Cepeda-Benito & Reig-Ferrer, 2004
; Cox et al., 2001
; Yu et al., 2010
). Findings across these studies further suggest the construct of craving shares commonalities across a variety of smokers.
This evaluation was limited to a convenience sample of Black light smokers entering a treatment study of bupropion. Potential limitations in generalizability may be related to a sample restricted based on cigarettes smoked per day, medical and psychiatric history, level of alcohol use, and use of other tobacco. Specifically, participants were light smokers (≤10 cpd), had no history of psychiatric illness, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and other tobacco use. A full list of exclusion criteria can be found in Cox et al. (2011)
. The evaluation of craving was also limited to baseline assessment, while participants were still smoking, prior to beginning treatment, setting a quit date, or making a quit attempt. Future evaluation could examine craving level and QSU-Brief factor structure for Black light smokers trying to stop smoking with attention to smoking or abstinence status and use of pharmacotherapy. Craving assessment within multiethnic samples would further add to the literature, examining potential differences in craving severity, cue reactivity, craving management, and the relationship between craving, smoking behavior, treatment outcomes, and relapse.