UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Smoking Topography in Korean American and White Men: Preliminary Findings

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Epidemiology | Heterocyclic Compounds | Race and Ethnicity | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This is the first study of Korean Americans' smoking behavior using a topography device. Korean American men smoke at higher rates than the general U.S. population. Korean American and White men were compared based on standard tobacco assessment and smoking topography measures. They smoked their preferred brand of cigarettes ad libitum with a portable smoking topography device for 24 h. Compared to White men (N = 26), Korean American men (N = 27) were more likely to smoke low nicotine-yield cigarettes (p < 0.001) and have lower Fagerstrom nicotine dependence scores (p = 0.04). Koreans smoked fewer cigarettes with the device (p = 0.01) than Whites. Controlling for the number of cigarettes smoked, Koreans smoked with higher average puff flows (p = 0.05), greater peak puff flows (p = 0.02), and shorter interpuff intervals (p < 0.001) than Whites. Puff counts, puff volumes, and puff durations did not differ between the two groups. This study offers preliminary insight into unique smoking patterns among Korean American men who are likely to smoke low nicotine-yield cigarettes. We found that Korean American men compensated their lower number and low nicotine-yield cigarettes by smoking with greater puff flows and shorter interpuff intervals than White men, which may suggest exposures to similar amounts of nicotine and harmful tobacco toxins by both groups. Clinicians will need to consider in identifying and treating smokers in a mutually aggressive manner, irrespective of cigarette type and number of cigarette smoked per day.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Jun;17(3):860-6. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9921-6. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health

PubMed ID