Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Nicotine metabolism and addiction among adolescent smokers

  • Author(s): Rubinstein, ML
  • Shiffman, S
  • Moscicki, AB
  • Rait, MA
  • Sen, S
  • Benowitz, NL
  • et al.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License

Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine the association between the nicotine metabolic rate and smoking behavior, including addiction, in adolescent smokers. Design: Baseline data from a prospective study of adolescent smoking behaviors and nicotine metabolism. Setting: The setting was an out-patient university hospital in San Francisco. Participants: Adolescent smokers (n=164) aged 13-17 years old. Measurements: Participants completed self-report measures of smoking behavior and nicotine dependence (modified Fagerström Tolerance Questionnaire: mFTQ). The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR), a phenotypic marker of the rate of nicotine metabolism, was calculated using the ratio of concentrations of deuterium-labeled 3′-hydroxycotinine to cotinine-d4. Findings: Participants reported smoking a mean of 2.86 cigarettes per day (CPD) [median=1.78, standard deviation (SD)=3.35] for 1.37 years (median=1.0, SD=1.36). Results from multivariate analyses accounting for age, race/ethnicity, gender and duration of smoking indicated that slower metabolizers smoked more CPD than faster metabolizers (the NMR was inversely related to CPD; P=0.02). Slower metabolizers also showed greater dependence on the mFTQ (NMR was negatively associated with the mFTQ; P=0.02). Conclusions: In adolescence, slower clearance of nicotine may be associated with greater levels of addiction, perhaps mediated by a greater number of cigarettes smoked. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item