, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 305–308 | Cite as

Nicotine from cigarette smoking increases circulating levels of cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin in male chronic smokers

  • J. N. Wilkins
  • H. E. Carlson
  • H. Van Vunakis
  • M. A. Hill
  • E. Gritz
  • M. E. Jarvik
Original Investigations


Results of this study indicate that nicotine from cigarette smoking increases circulating levels of cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin in male chronic smokers. Previous studies have not addressed the question of whether the stimulus for smoking-related hormone release is the ‘stress’ of smoking or a pharmacologic action of nicotine and other tobacco substrates. Nicotine exposure is controlled in this study by allowing each subject to smoke only two 2.0 mg nicotine cigarettes during one experimental session and two 0.2 mg nicotine cigarettes in another session. Plasma levels of cortisol, growth hormone, and prolactin for the higher nicotine session were found to be significantly elevated over those for the low-nicotine session, indicating that nicotine itself plays a predominate role in smoking-induced hormone increases. All hormone levels for the 2.0 mg nicotine session had not returned to baseline 60 min after smoking.

Key words

Nicotine Cigarette smoking Cortisol Growth homone Prolactin Heart rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. Wilkins
    • 1
    • 3
  • H. E. Carlson
    • 2
    • 4
  • H. Van Vunakis
    • 7
  • M. A. Hill
    • 1
    • 5
  • E. Gritz
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. E. Jarvik
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Clinical Pyschopharmacology UnitVAMedical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Administration Medical CenterWadsworth
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUCLA School of MedicineWalthamUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUCLA School of MedicineWalthamUSA
  5. 5.Department of BiomathematicsUCLA School of MedicineWalthamUSA
  6. 6.Department of PharmacologyUCLA School of MedicineWalthamUSA
  7. 7.Department of BiochemistryBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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