Rapid smoking may not be aversive in schizophrenia

Jill M. Williams, Kunal K. Gandhi, Shou En Lu, Marc L. Steinberg, Neal L. Benowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: 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. Methods: 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. Results: SS smoked significantly more cigarettesin the 24-hr period versus CON and the time between puffs, or interpuff interval (IPI) was shorter in SS versus CON by an average of6.5 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 aslikely 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 associatedwith baselinecharacteristics of smoking more cigarettes per day, higher Fagerstr̈m score, and higher carbon monoxide level but notwith serum cotinine values or trans-3'-hydroxycotinine/cotinine ratios. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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