Evaluation of toxicant and carcinogen metabolites in the urine of e-cigarette users versus cigarette smokers

Stephen S. Hecht, Steven G. Carmella, Delshanee Kotandeniya, Makenzie E. Pillsbury, Menglan Chen, Benjamin W.S. Ransom, Rachel Isaksson Vogel, Elizabeth Thompson, Sharon E. Murphy, Dorothy K. Hatsukami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Introduction: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are rapidly increasing in popularity but little information is available on their potential toxic or carcinogenic effects. Methods: Twenty-eight e-cigarette smokers who had not smoked tobacco cigarettes for at least 2 months provided urine samples which were analyzed by validated methods for a suite of toxicant and carcinogen metabolites including 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HOP), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol and its glucuronides (total NNAL), 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid (3-HPMA), 2-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid (2-HPMA), 3-hydroxy-1-methylpropylmercapturic acid (HMPMA), S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA), nicotine, and cotinine. Levels of these compounds were compared to those found in cigarette smokers from three previous studies. Results: Levels of 1-HOP, total NNAL, 3-HPMA, 2-HPMA, HMPMA, and SPMA were significantly lower in the urine of e-cigarette users compared to cigarette smokers. Levels of nicotine and cotinine were significantly lower in e-cigarette users compared to cigarette smokers in one study but not in another. Conclusions: With respect to the compounds analyzed here, e-cigarettes have a more favorable toxicity profile than tobacco cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-709
Number of pages6
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.


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