In the present study investigating the effects of adolescent nicotine exposure on adult serial pattern learning, adolescent rats received daily i.p. injections of either 1.0 mg/kg nicotine or saline for 5 days per week for 5 weeks beginning on postnatal day 25 (P25), then were allowed 35 days drug free. Rats then began training on P95 as adults on a 24-element serial pattern composed of eight 3-element chunks. Adolescent exposure to 1.0 mg/kg nicotine produced persistent retardation of learning for the first element of each 3-element chunk of the pattern, that is, for chunk boundary elements, and transient retardation of learning for elements 2 and 3 of each chunk of the pattern, that is, for the within-chunk elements. Deficits at chunk boundaries were interpreted as deficits of phrasing cue discrimination learning whereas deficits for learning responses for elements within-chunks (elements 2 and 3 of chunks) were interpreted as deficits of rule learning. These results indicate that the effects of adolescent nicotine exposure on adult learning and cognitive capacity deserve further scrutiny.