Introduction: The number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) is a component of commonly used nicotine dependence measures and often used as a smoking cessation treatment outcome. Yet relighting (ie, smoking used cigarette butts) is not usually considered when CPD is assessed, which may underestimate nicotine dependence and result in an inaccurate picture of smoking behaviors. Aims and Methods: Data from a randomized controlled trial of a smoking cessation intervention were used. Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence (FTCD), CPD, and the frequency of smoking (number of smoking episodes/day) assessed at baseline and 3-month follow-up were used. Results: Participants were 49 adults with mood disorders who smoke daily receiving outpatient psychiatric treatment. At baseline, 27 (55.1%) participants reported relighting cigarettes, and 6 (27.3%) of those who did not report relighting at baseline reported relighting at 3-month follow-up. Replacing CPD with the frequency of smoking to recalculate the total FTCD score increased the score for 21 participants (43%). The mean FTCD scores increased from 4.61 to 5.16, from a classification of low to medium dependence, and 16 participants (33%) moved up in the dependence classification. Of the 31 participants who reported a >=50% reduction in CPD at 3-month follow-up, 5 (16%) did not achieve the outcome of >=50% reduction in the frequency of smoking per day. Conclusions: In this sample of adults with mood disorders who smoke, over half reported relighting cigarettes. Results underscore the importance of incorporating the frequency of smoking/relighting when assessing nicotine dependence and patterns of smoking behaviors in high-risk populations. Implications: This is the first study to investigate the patterns of relighting behavior and its impact on nicotine dependence and smoking cessation treatment outcome measures among treatment-seeking adults with mood disorders who smoke. The majority were relighting, and over a quarter of those who did not report relighting at baseline subsequently reported relighting in the context of a quit attempt. The findings demonstrate that overlooking relighting may underestimate nicotine dependence and overestimate the rates of those who have made meaningful changes in smoking behavior. Incorporating the frequency of smoking/relighting may help to more accurately capture nicotine dependence and patterns of smoking behavior among high-risk populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health