Urinary metabolites of a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in nonsmoking hospitality workers

Ozlem E. Tulunay, Stephen S. Hecht, Steven G. Carmella, Yan Zhang, Charlotte Lemmonds, Sharon Murphy, Dorothy K. Hatsukami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Exposure of nonsmokers to environmental tobacco smoke results in increased risk for cancer and other diseases. In spite of this finding, some restaurants and bars continue to permit smoking. This study examined the uptake of nicotine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), a potent lung carcinogen, in nonsmokers who work in restaurants and bars that permitted smoking. Urine samples were collected for 24 hours on working and nonworking days and were analyzed for total NNAL [the sum of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3- pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) and its glucuronides (NNAL-Glucs)], metabolites of NNK. In addition, urine samples were analysed for total nicotine (nicotine plus nicotine glucuronide), and total cotinine (cotinine plus cotinine-N-glucuronide) . The results showed significant increases in urinary levels of total NNAL, total nicotine, and total cotinine on working days compared with nonworking days. The results of this study show that smoke exposure in bars and restaurants may have important health effects on nonsmoking employees, elicited by the increase in carcinogen levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1286
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


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