Use Behaviors, Dependence, and Nicotine Exposure Associated with Ad Libitum Cigar Smoking

Tob Regul Sci. 2018 Jan;4(1):548-561. doi: 10.18001/TRS.4.1.2.


Objectives: To examine factors important to cigar smoking and subsequent nicotine exposure, we evaluated the impact of cigar type, cigarette smoking history, and inhalation behaviors on nicotine dependence, smoking topography, and biomarkers of exposure in current exclusive cigar smokers.

Methods: Adult, exclusive cigar smokers (N = 77) were recruited based on cigar type, cigarette smoking history, and self-reported inhalation behaviors. Participants smoked their own brand product ad libitum for up to one hour; dependence symptoms, smoking topography, and biomarkers of exposure were assessed.

Results: Cigar smokers showed low levels of dependence. Cigar smoking alleviated withdrawal and craving symptoms, increased plasma nicotine concentration, and increased exhaled CO. Multiple regression analyses indicate that inhalation behaviors were associated with increased dependence and greater reductions in withdrawal symptoms upon cigar smoking. Large cigar smokers smoked longer and smoked more tobacco than small cigar and cigarillo smokers. Furthermore, large cigar smokers and self-reported inhalers were exposed to more nicotine than small cigar smokers and non-inhalers.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that cigar type and smoking behaviors affect dependence and nicotine exposure upon cigar smoking. These findings provide additional insight into the substantial risks associated with cigar smoking.

Keywords: addiction; biomarkers; cigars; smoking; tobacco.