We question whether it is profitable to look at smoking (both smoking status and the number of cigarettes smoked a day): (1) in terms of the personality traits of Extraversion, Neuroticism and Psychoticism; (2) in terms of their pairwise interactions; (3) with respect, rather, to impulsivity or sensation seeking; or (4) taking into consideration both these levels of analysis. Our sample comprised 121 smokers and 111 non-smokers (mostly students). No interactions were predictive of smoking. Both Psychoticism and impulsivity were found to be central traits—thereby providing support for the notion that it is a better strategy to look at smoking in terms of both these levels of analysis. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.