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Metabolic parameters in smokers undergoing smoking reduction.



Few human studies have explored the mechanisms of smoking-induced insulin resistance. Aims: To prospectively examine the metabolic changes of smoking reduction.


Cigarette smokers (n = 22; ½-2 packs per day) were enrolled in a smoking reduction program (counseling plus bupropion × 8 weeks; Phase I) followed by monitoring only (no counseling or bupropion × 16 weeks; Phase II). We serially measured exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) and urine nicotine metabolites; fat distribution, and metabolic parameters by hyperinsulinemic clamps including hepatic glucose output (HGO) and indirect calorimetry, adjusted for total caloric intake and expenditure.


CO and nicotine metabolite levels fell with smoking reduction during Phase I (all p < 0.05), without any further changes through Phase II. Central-to-peripheral fat ratio increased during Phase I, but then fell during Phase II (all p < 0.05). Over 24 weeks, basal HGO fell (p = 0.02); and falling CO and nicotine metabolite levels correlated inversely with changes in glucose oxidation, and directly with changes in weight (all p < 0.05).


Smoking reduction produced a transient worsening of central fat redistribution followed by a more significant improvement; along with other net beneficial metabolic effects.

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