Introduction: The time a smoker waits until the first cigarette of the morning is often used as a measure of dependence with the rationale that more dependent smokers will smoke sooner upon waking than will less dependent smokers after going several hours without a cigarette overnight.
Aims: We sought to examine the relationship between time-to-first-cigarette (TTFC) and household smoking restrictions in two independent samples.
Methods: Two samples of smokers, one treatment-seeking community sample (N = 433) and one non-treatment seeking sample of smokers with serious mental illness (i.e., Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, or Bipolar I Disorder) (N = 94), provided information on cigarette dependence with the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) and on household smoking restrictions.
Results: Half (50%) of smokers with serious mental illness and 36.7% of smokers from the general population reported that there were no limitations to smoking in their home. Household smoking restrictions were significantly and positively related to TTFC in both samples.
Conclusions: These data indicate that greater attention to TTFC may be warranted. The TTFC item is intended to measure dependence based on the premise that greater dependence should be associated with shorter TTFC. If TTFC is related to a household smoking ban, however, this item may not be assessing dependence as intended in some cases.