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J Adolesc Health. 2007 Jan;40(1):54-60. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Smoking topography in response to denicotinized and high-yield nicotine cigarettes in adolescent smokers.

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Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA.



The objective of this study was to explore the smoking topography of adolescent smokers. It is well established that the majority of adult nicotine-dependent smokers began smoking as adolescents. Whereas recent advances have been made with respect to identification of factors that predispose to nicotine dependence, very little is known about the actual smoking behavior (e.g., topography) of adolescent smokers, or its relationship to nicotine dependence. Correspondingly, the extent to which adolescent smokers smoke to obtain nicotine is also unknown.


In the present study, we assessed several topographical indices of smoking (e.g., puff volume, puff number) in a sample of 35 light, adolescent smokers. Moreover, we examined whether smoking behavior is different in response to smoking a denicotinized relative to a high-yield, nicotine cigarette.


All participants evidenced a significant increase in expired air carbon monoxide after the smoking of a cigarette. Results of independent-sample t-tests revealed that adolescents who smoked a low-yield nicotine cigarette took significantly more puffs per cigarette than did those who smoked a high-yield cigarette.


These findings suggest that adolescent smokers do titrate their nicotine intake in response to smoking denicotinized cigarettes, but do so not by taking larger puffs or smoking more quickly, but by simply taking more puffs per cigarette. Implications of the findings and future directions for this type of research with adolescents are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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