Ozone responsiveness in smokers and nonsmokers

Mark W. Frampton, Paul E. Morrow, Alfonso Torres, Christopher Cox, Karen Z. Voter, Mark J. Utell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Short-term exposure to ozone causes decrements in lung function, but predictors of responsiveness remain largely unknown. Ninety healthy volunteers (56 never-smokers, age [mean ± SD] 25 ± 4 yr; 34 current smokers, 13 ± 9 pack-yr, age 28 ± 1 yr) were exposed to 0.22 ppm ozone for 4 h, with exercise, in an environmental chamber. We measured spirometry and specific airway conductance before, during, and immediately after exposure, and assessed symptoms by questionnaire. Smokers experienced a smaller increase in respiratory symptoms following exposure to ozone than did nonsmokers. Decrements in FEV1 were significantly less than for smokers than for nonsmokers (p = 0.0013). Ozone responsiveness (> 15% fall in FEV1) occurred in 16 of 56 never-smokers (28.6%) and 4 of 34 smokers (11.8%). Multiple logistic regression analysis found pack-yr of smoking to be associated with decreased ozone responsiveness (odds ratio [OR] 0.87, p = 0.017). Age, gender, and methacholine responsiveness were not predictive of responder status. Fourteen smokers and 25 nonsmokers were subsequently exposed once to air and twice to ozone; smokers as well as nonsmokers were consistent in their subsequent responsiveness (or lack of responsiveness) to ozone. Healthy smokers have smaller decrements in lung function and fewer symptoms in response to ozone exposure than do nonsmokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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