Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 860–866 | Cite as

Smoking Topography in Korean American and White Men: Preliminary Findings

  • Sangkeun Chung
  • Sun S. Kim
  • Nisha Kini
  • Hua J. Fang
  • David Kalman
  • Douglas M. Ziedonis
Original Paper


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.


Smoking topography Nicotine metabolism Ethnicity Korean 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangkeun Chung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sun S. Kim
    • 3
  • Nisha Kini
    • 4
  • Hua J. Fang
    • 4
  • David Kalman
    • 3
  • Douglas M. Ziedonis
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryChonbuk National University HospitalJeonjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryChonbuk National University Medical SchoolJeonjuSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  4. 4.Department of Quantitative Health SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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