4 Scopus citations


Carcinogen and toxicant uptake by e-cigarette users have not been fully evaluated. In the study reported here, we recruited 30 e-cigarette users, 63 nonsmokers, and 33 cigarette smokers who gave monthly urine samples over a period of 4-6 months. Their product use status was confirmed by measurements of exhaled CO, urinary total nicotine equivalents, cyanoethyl mercapturic acid (CEMA), and total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol. Urinary biomarkers of exposure to the carcinogens acrolein (3-hydroxypropyl mercapturic acid, 3-HPMA), benzene (S-phenyl mercapturic acid, SPMA), acrylonitrile (CEMA), and a combination of crotonaldehyde, methyl vinyl ketone, and methacrolein (3-hydroxy-1-methylpropyl mercapturic acid, HMPMA) were quantified at each visit. Data from subject visits with CEMA > 27 pmol/mL were excluded from the statistical analysis of the results because of possible unreported exposures to volatile combustion products such as secondhand cigarette smoke or marijuana smoke exposure; this left 22 e-cigarette users with 4 or more monthly visits and all 63 nonsmokers. Geometric mean levels of 3-HPMA (1249 versus 679.3 pmol/mL urine) were significantly higher (P = 0.003) in e-cigarette users than in nonsmokers, whereas levels of SPMA, CEMA, and HMPMA did not differ between these two groups. All analytes were significantly higher in cigarette smokers than in either e-cigarette users or nonsmokers. The results of this unique multimonth longitudinal study demonstrate consistent significantly higher uptake of the carcinogen acrolein in e-cigarette users versus nonsmokers, presenting a warning signal regarding e-cigarette use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-588
Number of pages6
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 17 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant CA-203851 from the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH or the Food and Drug Administration. Mass spectrometry was carried out in the Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, supported in part by Cancer Center Support Grant CA-077598. Salary support for Peter W. Villalta, head of the Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource, was provided by the National Cancer Institute Grant CA-211256.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


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