A comprehensive assessment of nicotine dependence using questionnaires and measurements of carbon monoxide concentration in the exhaled air

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Aim. To study nicotine dependence (ND) basing on special questionnaires and measurement of CO concentrations in the exhaled air.
Material and methods. 350 smokers (318 males and 32 females) aged 20-57 years (mean age 37.1 ± 7.3 years) were studied. ND was assessed by Fagerstrom test (FT), motivation to smoke and to quit tests, smoking history and exhaled CO measurement. In addition, respiratory complaints and ventilation parameters such as peak expiratory flow (PEF) and forced expiratory volume per 1 sec (FEV1) were measured.
Results. Mean daily cigarette number was 14.2 ± 7.3; smoking duration 16.3 ± 7.8 years and smokers index 170.9 ± 87.8. Smoking women differed from smoking men in ND, PEF% and FEV1% decline as well as CO level. Exhaled CO was 21.1 ± 9.5ppm, on the average, corresponding to moderate dependence. ND and daily cigarette number produced a direct impact on the exhaled CO level. FT findings directly correlated with the number of daily cigarettes and CO level (mean 3.2 ± 2.3). Among motivation to smoke factors was the demand to release tension.
Conclusion. ND varies considerably among smokers by severity. Smoking men and women differ considerably by ND. Along with dependence tests, exhaled CO measurement provides objective verification ofND.


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