Puffing behavior during the smoking of a single cigarette in a naturalistic environment

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1992 Apr;41(4):701-6. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(92)90215-2.


The 36 participants in this study were habitual low-yield cigarette smokers, medium-yield cigarette smokers, and switchers from medium- to low-yield cigarettes. All participants smoked both low- (0.4 mg) and medium-nicotine (0.9 mg) cigarettes during the study. Puffing indices were recorded during the first two cigarettes, after an overnight abstinence of smoking, by a portable flowmeter processor unit in a naturalistic environment. The puff volumes per cigarette and per day were significantly lower while switching to higher-yield cigarettes, mainly due to a decrease in the number of puffs and longer interpuff intervals, but also due to a decline in puff duration and flow rate. However, the downregulation by puff volume was incomplete, at most two thirds, as calculated by machine smoking yields. Within the course of smoking a single cigarette, the flow rate was quite stable, puff duration and puff volume decreased toward the end of the cigarette, and interpuff interval was longest during the middle of the cigarette. Total puff volumes per cigarette were similar in the first two cigarettes of the day after an overnight abstinence of smoking, with no significant differences in other puff parameters. Diurnal cotinine excretion revealed that nicotine titration in switching situations was very accurate among switchers and medium-yield cigarette smokers, but not among the low-yield cigarette smokers, and so called oversmoking was found with the higher-nicotine brand. Preferred cigarette type had little effect on the puffing patterns of smokers in single cigarettes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / analysis
  • Smoking / psychology*


  • Nicotine