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Addict Behav. 1983;8(1):59-66.

Cigarette smoking as a risk for cardiovascular disease III: Biochemical effects with higher nicotine yield cigarettes.


Subjects who smoked a medium range nicotine yield cigarette were given a higher nicotine yield cigarette (an increase of 0.34 mg nicotine) to smoke ad libitum for two weeks. Plasma nicotine, cotinine, thiocyanate and blood carboxyhemoglobin levels were determined as well as various physiological parameters including heart rate and blood pressure. Increases in plasma nicotine were most directly correlated to heart rate when smokers were first challenged with a higher nicotine yield cigarette (r = 0.85); less directly correlated after a two-week acclimatization period (r = 0.42) and poorly related to their customary product (r = 0.23). Interestingly, it was noted that subjects did not compensate for higher nicotine yield by smoking fewer cigarettes per day when incremental nicotine changes were realistic. They did, however, show higher plasma nicotine, thiocyanate and an upward trend in plasma cotinine with the stronger cigarettes. These increases in cigarette constituents present in plasma, coupled with increasing correlation of heart rate and nicotine uptake, lead us to suggest that uptitration of smokers might cause them to establish new baseline levels. These findings have important health implications in light of recent suggestions to increase the nicotine yet decrease the tar of cigarettes in an attempt to overcome smoker compensation phenomena observed with low yield products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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