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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the American Cancer Society (ACS) (116623-RSG-09-098-01-CNE to NOFK), and the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) (YCSA 52364 to NOFK); and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (5R01HL103684 and 5R01CA138192 to MFH).
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.