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The Influence of Puff Characteristics, Nicotine Dependence, and Rate of Nicotine Metabolism on Daily Nicotine Exposure in African American Smokers

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African American (AA) smokers experience greater tobacco-related disease burden than Whites, despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day (CPD). Understanding factors that influence daily nicotine intake in AA smokers is an important step toward decreasing tobacco-related health disparities. One factor of interest is smoking topography, or the study of puffing behavior.


(i) to create a model using puff characteristics, nicotine dependence, and nicotine metabolism to predict daily nicotine exposure, and (ii) to compare puff characteristics and nicotine intake from two cigarettes smoked at different times to ensure the reliability of the puff characteristics included in our model.


Sixty AA smokers smoked their preferred brand of cigarette at two time points through a topography device. Plasma nicotine, expired CO, and changes in subjective measures were measured before and after each cigarette. Total nicotine equivalents (TNE) was measured from 24-hour urine collected during ad libitum smoking.


In a model predicting daily nicotine exposure, total puff volume, CPD, sex, and menthol status were significant predictors (R(2) = 0.44, P < 0.001). Total puff volume was significantly greater and inter-puff intervals were significantly shorter after ad lib smoking compared with the first cigarette of the day, but puffing behaviors for both cigarettes were highly correlated (r range = 0.69-0.89, P < 0.001) within-subjects.


This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that puff characteristics of individual cigarettes are predictive of daily nicotine intake.


These findings enhance our understanding of the relationship between smoking behavior and nicotine intake in AA smokers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(6); 936-43. ©2016 AACR.

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