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Nicotine Tob Res. 2013 Jan;15(1):262-6. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr314. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Rapid smoking may not be aversive in schizophrenia.

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School of Public Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA.



Aversive smoking has been investigated as a smoking cessation technique that involves rapid smoking in a clinic or laboratory and typically involves (a) puffing every 6-10 s or (b) smoking 3 or more cigarettes sequentially in 8-20 min. Rapid smoking usually results in dizziness, sore throat, nausea, and other unpleasant feelings.


To explore rapid smoking, 161 smokers (75 with schizophrenia [SS]; 86 controls [CON]) were assessed in a single day (24 ± 2 hr), ad libitum smoking topography session using the Clinical Research Support System micro portable topography device.


SS smoked significantly more cigarettes in the 24-hr period versus CON and the time between puffs, or interpuff interval (IPI) was shorter in SS versus CON by an average of 6.5 s (p < .001). The median IPI was also significantly shorter in SS versus CON (9.3 vs.15.7 s; p < .001). SS were twice as likely to have IPIs ≤ 6 s than CON (OR = 2.32, 95% CI = 1.68, 3.20; p < .001). SS were also more likely to smoke 3 or more cigarettes in any 20 min during a 24-hr topography session (OR = 2.32, 95% CI = 1.03, 2.44; p < .001). Rapid smoking was associated with baseline characteristics of smoking more cigarettes per day, higher Fagerström score, and higher carbon monoxide level but not with serum cotinine values or trans-3'-hydroxycotinine/cotinine ratios.


Using either definition, SS exhibit patterns of rapid smoking that they seemingly do not experience as aversive, since it reflects their naturalistic pattern of smoking, outside of the laboratory.

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