Exploring brief measures of nicotine dependence for epidemiological surveys

Jose De Leon, Francisco J. Diaz, Elisardo Becoña, Manuel Gurpegui, Dolores Jurado, Ana Gonzalez-Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


A score≥6 in the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), identifying high nicotine dependence, was compared with three briefer classifications: (1) Item 4: heavy smoking (more than 30 cigarettes per day); (2) Item 1: high early smoking (smoking within 30 min of waking up); and (3) a score≥4 by combining Items 1 and 4. The FTND scores from 1642 smokers from five samples in the US and Spain were analyzed. Heavy smoking had low sensitivity. High early smoking had low specificity. A score≥4 by combining Items 1 and 4 had relatively good sensitivity (94%) and specificity (88%). Researchers needing definition of nicotine dependence briefer than FTND may want to only use Items 1 and 4 of FTND with a cutting score≥4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1481-1486
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mr. Diaz is an Associate Instructor in Statistics at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Mr. Diaz's salary was partly supported by a grant from the Kentucky Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (to Jose de Leon). Margaret T. Susce, R.N., M.L.T. helped in editing this article. Please see original publications for acknowledgments and a complete list of people who helped with data collection.


  • Epidemiology
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Scales
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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