Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Here we examined the clinical relevance of pleasurable effects liking of cigarette smoking. Smokers N268 enrolled in a smoking cessation study were followed from two weeks pre-quit through four weeks post-quit. At each pre-quit session, participants smoked a cigarette. After each of the first seven puffs, they rated puff liking 1-7 scale. After the cigarette, participants also rated their overall liking for the cigarette. Participants who reported higher puff liking ratings were more likely to relapse during the first week OR1.45, 95 Cls 1.07 - 1.97, p .02. Liking ratings from the most preferred puff peak were more strongly related to retrospective liking ratings and dependence scores than liking ratings from a random puff. Interventions that attenuate the acute subjective pleasurable effects of cigarette smoking, particularly peak ratings, may facilitate smoking cessation.