Smoking increases plasma nicotine. Nicotine releases catecholamines and alters arterial
distensibility. The nicotine intake per cigarette is greater and serum cotinine levels,
the proximate metabolite of nicotine, are higher in Blacks than in Whites. We tested
the hypothesis that cigarette smoking increases the pulse wave velocity (PWV), a marker
of arterial stiffness, and the augmentation index (AI), a measure of wave reflection,
more in Blacks than in Whites.