Pharmacodynamic effects of new de-nicotinized cigarettes

Wallace B. Pickworth, Reginald V. Fant, Richard A. Nelson, Melissa S. Rohrer, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The effects of cigarette smoking result from the delivery of nicotine, other components of smoke, and sensory stimulation. In the present study, pharmacological effects of new tobacco-derived de-nicotinized cigarettes (controls) were compared with standard cigarettes. The de-nicotinized cigarettes had the appearance, draw and taste of standard cigarettes but contained and delivered virtually no nicotine (< 0.06 mg), but delivered tar and carbon monoxide (CO). They were compared with cigarettes that delivered nicotine, CO and tar. Subjects (n = 20: 10 men, 10 women) participated in four experimental sessions in which they smoked either a standard cigarette or a de-nicotinized cigarette after either 3 or 12 h of tobacco deprivation. Heart rate, blood pressure, and EEG were recorded before, and for 1 h after, ad lib smoking. Plasma nicotine concentrations verified that de-nicotinized cigarettes did not deliver nicotine. The de-nicotinized cigarettes did not increase heart rate or activate the EEG. The subjects preferred the cigarettes that delivered nicotine compared to the de-nicotinized cigarettes. However, both types of cigarettes reduced subjective measures of tobacco craving and withdrawal. These data extend previous research that suggested the process of smoking and components of tobacco smoke other than nicotine mediate some effects of cigarette smoking. The de-nicotinized cigarettes may prove useful in evaluating effects of smoking independent of the delivery of nicotine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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