Multicomponent assessment and treatment of cigarette pica

Han Leong Goh, Brian A. Iwata, Sung Woo Kahng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We conducted a multicomponent assessment and treatment for 4 individuals who engaged in cigarette pica. During Phase 1, three stimulus preference assessments were conducted to identify (a) the reinforcing component of the cigarette, (b) potential alternative reinforcers that may be used during treatment, and (c) whether the alternative reinforcer would compete effectively with cigarettes. Results were successful in identifying the reinforcing component of the cigarette and suggested the feasibility of using alternative reinforcers during treatment to eliminate cigarette pica. During Phase 2, the effects of two treatment procedures were evaluated. Noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) with the alternative edible reinforcer reduced the pica of 2 of the participants, but effects were not maintained when the initial dense schedule of NCR was thinned. Subsequendy, differential reinforcement of alternative behavior with the alternative edible reinforcer was effective in reducing pica for 3 participants. An evaluation of nine treatment procedures failed to identify an effective intervention for the remaining participant; consequently, preventive measures were designed to minimize occurrences of cigarette pica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-316
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Differential reinforcement
  • Functional analysis
  • Noncontingent reinforcement
  • Pica
  • Punishment
  • Reinforcer assessment
  • Tobacco ingestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Goh, H. L., Iwata, B. A., & Kahng, S. W. (1999). Multicomponent assessment and treatment of cigarette pica. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32(3), 297-316.