• Journal Article

Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Changes in Nicotine Dependence


Mooney, M. E., Johnson, E., Breslau, N., Bierut, L. J., & Hatsukami, D. K. (2011). Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Changes in Nicotine Dependence. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 13(6), 426-430. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntr019


Introduction: The relationship of nicotine dependence (ND) to smoking behavior and cessation has been well characterized. However, little is known about the association between smoking reduction (SR) and ND. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the lifetime prevalence and extent of SR and whether ND as assessed by a modified Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) score without cigarettes per day (CPD) and time-to-first cigarette changed with reductions in CPD. As part of the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Nicotine Dependence (COGEND), 47,777 individuals from 2 mid-Western metropolitan areas were identified for a community-based telephone screening, yielding 6,955 current daily smokers ages 25-44 years (European-American, n = 5,135 and Black, n = 1,820). The FTND was administered to measure current ND and peak ND in respondents whose current daily CPD is lower than their reported lifetime peak. Results: About 44% (n = 3,077) of the sample reported reducing their smoking from their lifetime peak, with a mean reduction of 14.4 CPD (SD = 8.9) or a 54.0% reduction compared with peak smoking. Controlling for peak smoking and years smoked, the magnitude of SR was associated with declines in ND excluding the direct contribution of CPD. Conclusions: Self-reported SR was associated with reduced levels of ND. The impact of this reduction on smoking cessation and health risks and smoking cessation requires further study, particularly given the retrospective nature of the present dataset