Background: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are environmental pollutants formed from incomplete combustion of organic matter; some PAHs are carcinogens. Smoking, diet, and other activities contribute to exposure to PAHs. Exposure data to PAHs among combustible tobacco product users (e.g. cigarette smokers) exist; however, among non-combustible tobacco products users (e.g., e-cigarette users), such data are rather limited. Objectives: We sought to evaluate exposure to PAHs among participants in Wave 1 (2013–2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study based on the type of tobacco product (combustible vs non-combustible), and frequency and intensity of product use. Methods: We quantified seven PAH urinary biomarkers in 11,519 PATH Study participants. From self-reported information, we categorized 8327 participants based on their use of tobacco products as never-tobacco user (never user, n = 1700), exclusive current established combustible products user (combustible products user, n = 5767), and exclusive current established non-combustible products user (non-combustible products user, n = 860). We further classified tobacco users as exclusive cigarette user (cigarette user, n = 3964), exclusive smokeless product user (SLT user, n = 509), and exclusive e-cigarette user (e-cigarette user, n = 280). Last, we categorized frequency of product use (everyday vs some days) and time since use (last hour, within 3 days, over 3 days). We calculated geometric mean (GM) concentrations, and evaluated associations between tobacco product user categories and PAH biomarkers concentrations. Results: Combustible products users had significantly higher GMs of all biomarkers than non-combustible products users and never users; non-combustible products users had significantly higher GMs than never users for four of seven biomarkers. For all biomarkers examined, cigarette users had the highest GMs compared to other tobacco-product users. Interestingly, GMs of 2-hydroxyfluorene, 3-hydroxyfluorene and ∑2,3-hydroxyphenanthrene were significantly higher in SLT users than in e-cigarette users; 3-hydroxyfluorene and 1-hydroxypyrene were also significantly higher in e-cigarette and SLT users than in never users. Everyday cigarette and SLT users had significantly higher GMs for most biomarkers than some days’ users; cigarette and SLT users who used the product in the last hour had significantly higher GMs of most biomarkers than other occasional cigarette or SLT users respectively. By contrast, everyday e-cigarette users’ GMs of most biomarkers did not differ significantly from those in some days’ e-cigarette users; we did not observe clear trends by time of last use among e-cigarette users. Conclusions: Users of tobacco products had higher PAH urinary biomarker concentrations compared to never users, and concentrations differed by type and frequency of tobacco product use.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.