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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A comparison of odor perception in smokers, nonsmokers, and passive smokers.

The olfactory perception in matched groups of 26 smokers, 26 nonsmokers, and 15 passive smokers was examined psychophysically with two substances, n-butane and pyridine. Different psychophysical functions were obtained from these groups using the method of magnitude estimation. The smokers and passive smokers perceived all concentrations of n-butane to be weaker than did the nonsmokers. In the case of pyridine, a substance in tobacco smoke to which smokers are more exposed, there is an indication of a perceptual deficit similar to loudness recruitment. There were no appreciable differences between smokers and nonsmokers for high concentrations; the sensitivity was less and the psychophysical functions steeper for smokers than nonsmokers for relatively low concentrations. The results are evaluated in terms of information about the subjects' response criteria, and the authors consider the possibility of sensory deficit versus habituation.[1]


  1. A comparison of odor perception in smokers, nonsmokers, and passive smokers. Ahlström, R., Berglund, B., Berglund, U., Engen, T., Lindvall, T. American journal of otolaryngology. (1987) [Pubmed]
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