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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Sep;37(1):17-28.

Population characteristics and cigarette yield as determinants of smoke exposure.

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  • 1Department of Oral Health Science, College of Dentistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536-0084.


Relationships of population characteristics, smoking history, and cigarette yield with smoke exposure as measured by peripheral blood concentrations of thiocyanate, carboxyhemoglobin, nicotine and cotinine were sought in 170 male smokers. This population of smokers had significant elevations of serum thiocyanate, blood carboxyhemoglobin and plasma nicotine and cotinine concentrations as compared with an equal number of age- and sex-matched nonsmokers and these concentrations correlated significantly with past 24-hour cigarette consumption. Although the nicotine yield of the cigarette correlated significantly with plasma cotinine and marginally with plasma nicotine, the reduction in plasma nicotine and cotinine was not proportionate to the reduced yield of the cigarettes, suggesting that smokers partially compensate for the lower yields of their cigarettes. Blood levels of carboxyhemoglobin, nicotine and cotinine were also significantly associated with the weight of the subjects, presumably due to the relationship between weight and the volume of distribution. Univariate and multiple regression analyses provided evidence that coffee and alcohol consumption and years smoked also may be important determinants of smoke exposure.

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