Bupropion and varenicline are the top two smoking cessation interventions that are marginally successful in increasing abstinence rates when compared to placebo. Although smokers vary in their history and pattern of tobacco use, there is a significant gap in addressing this individual variability with individually targeted treatments. The present study takes the initial step towards a better understanding of individual differences in treatment outcomes by assessing the effect of bupropion or varenicline on nicotine self-administration in rats. Rats were first assessed for their individual economic demand for sucrose and then for self-administered nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/inf; 2 h sessions). We then examined the effect of bupropion (0, 10, 30, 60 mg/kg) or varenicline (0, 0.1, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg) pretreatment on individual rates of nicotine self-administration using progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement. Thereafter, rats were subjected to four rounds of extinction and reinstatement tests. We found that individual demand for sucrose did not predict individual demand for nicotine. Acute pretreatments with bupropion or varenicline were most effective at decreasing nicotine self-administration in rats that had a higher demand for nicotine. Rats with higher demand for nicotine also showed higher magnitude of responding in extinction and during nicotine-triggered reinstatement tests. Although the acute treatment protocol employed in this study is an important initial step towards a better understanding of individual treatment effects, future research modeling chronic treatment approaches will be needed to further extend our findings.