Citric acid aerosol as a potential smoking cessation aid.
We tested the ability of a citric acid aerosol to simulate the tracheal sensations produced by cigarette smoke and to satisfy smokers' desire for cigarettes. Fifteen smokers rated puffs from their own brand of cigarette, citric acid aerosol, a low tar and nicotine cigarette, and air. To focus on tracheal perceptions and pharmacologic effects of nicotine, we equated visual, olfactory and taste cues across conditions. Subjects rated the citric acid aerosol more similar to their own brand, more desirable, and more satisfying (after a block of puffs) than control puffs of air. It was also rated equal to or better than the low tar and nicotine cigarette. Subjects' own brands were rated best, although puffs of citric acid aerosol were of comparable strength and harshness. The results suggest that a nebulizer delivering citric acid in a fine mist might reduce craving for cigarettes in smokers attempting to quit and may thereby increase cessation rates.
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