The contribution of sensory factors to smoking satisfaction and nicotine withdrawal symptoms was assessed by evaluating responses to three types of cigarettes: a regular cigarette, a de-nicotinized cigarette (de-nic), and a lettuce leaf cigarette. Doses were varied by requiring subjects to smoke cigarettes using a five-port cigarette manifold. The ratio of the regular or de-nic cigarettes to the lettuce cigarettes was varied across the following values: zero, one, two, and four of five. Seven male smokers were tobacco-deprived for 12 h before testing. On one test day they smoked the de-nic cigarettes, and on another day they smoked the regular cigarettes. Ratings of satisfaction and cigarette liking were directly related to the number of regular or de-nic cigarettes, but were generally higher after the regular cigarette. The regular and de-nic cigarettes were equivalent in reducing acute withdrawal symptoms. Expired CO was similar on both experimental days. The regular cigarette dose-dependently increased plasma nicotine, but the de-nic cigarette did not increase plasma nicotine. These results indicate that sensory characteristics of cigarettes contribute to the abuse liability of smoke-delivered nicotine. The results suggest that smoking cigarettes that do not provide nicotine may temporarily suppress cigarette withdrawal symptoms. © 1994.
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