Tobacco dependence is a key construct in tobacco research. This paper describes a construct validation approach to dependence assessment and describes key conceptual and psychometric criteria on which to evaluate putative measures of dependence. Five current dependence scales—the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence; the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.); the Cigarette Dependence Scale; the Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale; and the Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives—are examined with respect to these critical dimensions. Recommendations are made regarding the use of each measure.

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