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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009 Oct;55(1):17-27. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.05.016. Epub 2009 May 28.

The relationship between smoking machine derived tar yields and biomarkers of exposure in adult cigarette smokers in the US.

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Altria Client Services, 601 East Jackson Street, Richmond, VA 23219, USA.


Comprehensive data on human exposure to smoke constituents from different machine-measured tar yield cigarettes is limited.


This study used a stratified, cross-sectional, multi-center design to estimate biomarkers of exposure (BOE) from nicotine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), pyrene, CO, acrolein, and 1,3-butadiene and their relationship to tar yield categories of cigarette in adult smokers in the U.S. 3625 adults smokers were enrolled into four tar categories < or =2.9 mg (T1), 3.0-6.9 mg (T2), 7.0-12.9 mg (T3), and > or =13.0mg (T4). Biomarkers were measured in blood (carboxyhemoglobin, 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin (4-ABP-Hb)-adducts, serum cotinine) and 24h urine (nicotine and five metabolites, calculated as nicotine equivalents (NE), NNAL, 1-OH-pyrene, 3-HPMA, MHBMA and DHBMA). Data were analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).


Tar was a significant factor for most biomarkers in the ANCOVA models. The largest least square mean differences between tar categories was 35% for NE per day, 28% for NE per cigarette, 36% for serum cotinine, 42% for NNAL per day, 29% for NNAL per cigarette, 26% for 1-OHP, 24% for COHb, 14% for 3-HPMA and 40% for 4-ABP-Hb. Variability in BOE ranged from 41% to 154% CV.


There was a statistically significant effect of machine-measured tar yield on most BOE, which were generally lower with lower tar yield.

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