Smoking topography in tobacco chippers and dependent smokers

Addict Behav. 1996 Mar-Apr;21(2):233-8. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(95)00054-2.


Although most cigarette smokers exhibit signs of tobacco dependence, a subset of this population, referred to as tobacco chippers, does not show characteristic signs of dependence. Few studies have attempted to characterize differences between these groups of smokers. The purpose of the present study was to examine smoking topography in chippers (CH) and dependent smokers (DS). Topographical variables including puff number and duration, and intercigarette interval were examined in seven CH and seven DS under both laboratory and naturalistic conditions. Saliva nicotine, cotinine, and thiocyanate, as well as expired air carbon monoxide (CO) levels were also measured. The results indicate that there were no differences in smoking topography between CH and DS, except those that would be expected based on selection criteria. Although there were differences between groups on pre- and postsmoking CO and saliva cotinine levels, there were no differences in change scores from pre- to postsmoking on these measures. Additional studies will need to be done in order to completely characterize differences between CH and DS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breath Tests
  • Carbon Monoxide / blood
  • Cotinine / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate / physiology
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology*
  • Thiocyanates / pharmacokinetics


  • Thiocyanates
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Cotinine
  • thiocyanate