Acrolein exposure in hookah smokers and non-smokers exposed to hookah tobacco secondhand smoke: Implications for regulating hookah tobacco products

Nada O.F. Kassem, Noura O. Kassem, Sandy Liles, Adam T. Zarth, Sheila R. Jackson, Reem M. Daffa, Dale A. Chatfield, Steven G. Carmella, Stephen S. Hecht, Melbourne F. Hovell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Acrolein is a highly ciliatoxic agent, a toxic respiratory irritant, a cardiotoxicant, and a possible carcinogen present in tobacco smoke including hookah tobacco. Methods: 105 hookah smokers and 103 non-smokers attended exclusively hookah smoking social events at either a hookah lounge or private home, and provided urine samples the morning of and the morning after the event. Samples were analyzed for 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid (3-HPMA), a metabolite of acrolein. Results: Geometric mean (GM) urinary 3-HPMA levels in hookah smokers and non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) increased significantly, 1.41 times, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.74 and 1.39 times, 95% CI = 1.16 to 1.67, respectively, following a hookah social event. The highest increase (1.68 times, 95% CI = 1.15 to 2.45; p = 0.007) in 3-HPMA post a hookah social event was among daily hookah smokers (GM, from 1991 pmol/mg to 3348 pmol/mg). Pre-to-post event change in urinary 3-HPMA was significantly positively correlated with pre-to-post event change in urinary cotinine among hookah smokers at either location of hookah event, (ρ = 0.359, p = 0.001), and among nonsmokers in hookah lounges (ρ = 0.369, p = 0.012). Conclusions: Hookah tobacco smoke is a source of acrolein exposure. Findings support regulating hookah tobacco products including reducing humectants and sugar additives, which are precursors of acrolein under certain pyrolysis conditions. We suggest posting health warning signs for indoor smoking in hookah lounges, and encouraging voluntary bans of smoking hookah tobacco in private homes. Implications: Our study is the first to quantify the increase in acrolein exposure in hookah smokers and non-smokers exposed to exclusively hookah tobacco SHS at hookah social events in homes or hookah lounges. Our findings provide additional support for regulating hookah tobacco product content, protecting non-smokers' health by posting health warning signs for indoor smoking in hookah lounges, and encouraging home bans on hookah tobacco smoking to safeguard vulnerable residents. content, protecting non-smokers' health by posting health warning signs for indoor smoking in hookah lounges, and encouraging home bans on hookah tobacco smoking to safeguard vulnerable residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 6 2018

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