DSM-5 tobacco use disorder (TUD) nosology differs from DSM-IV nicotine dependence (ND) by including craving and DSM-IV abuse criteria, a lower threshold (≥ 2 criteria), and severity levels (mild; moderate; severe). We assessed concurrent and prospective validity of the DSM-5 TUD diagnosis and severity and compared validity with DSM-IV ND diagnosis.
The sample included U.S. adults with current problematic substance use and past year cigarette smoking (N = 396). Baseline assessment collected information on DSM-IV ND and DSM-5 TUD criteria, smoking-related variables, and psychopathology. Over the following 90 days, electronic daily assessments queried smoking and cigarette craving. Variables expected to be related to TUD were validators: cigarette consumption, cigarette craving scale, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, and psychiatric disorders. Regression models estimated the association of each validator with DSM-5 TUD and severity levels, and differential association between DSM-5 TUD and DSM-IV ND diagnoses.
DSM-5 TUD and DSM-IV ND were associated with most baseline validators (p-values < 0.05), with significantly stronger associations with DSM-5 TUD for number of days smoked (p = 0.023) and cigarette craving scale (p = 0.007). Baseline DSM-5 TUD and DSM-IV ND predicted smoking and craving on any given day during follow-up, with stronger associations for DSM-5 TUD (association difference [95% CI%]: any smoking, 0.53 [0.27, 0.77]; number of cigarettes smoked, 1.36 [0.89, 1.78]; craving scale, 0.19 [0.09, 0.28]). Validators were associated with TUD severity in a dose-dependent manner.
DSM-5 TUD diagnostic measures as operationalized here demonstrated concurrent and prospective validity. Inclusion of new criteria, particularly craving, improved validity and clinical relevance.

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