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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Aug 12. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0159-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Differences in exposure to toxic and/or carcinogenic volatile organic compounds between Black and White cigarette smokers.

Author information

1
Clinical Pharmacology Research Program, Division of Cardiology, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. Gideon.Sthelen@ucsf.edu.
2
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE), University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA. Gideon.Sthelen@ucsf.edu.
3
Clinical Pharmacology Research Program, Division of Cardiology, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE), University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
5
Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
6
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
7
Division of Intramural Research, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Office of the Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
8
Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
9
Masonic Cancer Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
10
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

It is unclear why Black smokers in the United States have elevated risk of some tobacco-related diseases compared to White smokers. One possible causal mechanism is differential intake of tobacco toxicants, but results across studies are inconsistent. Thus, we examined racial differences in biomarkers of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in tobacco smoke.

METHOD:

We analyzed baseline data collected from 182 Black and 184 White adult smokers who participated in a randomized clinical trial in 2013-2014 at 10 sites across the United States. We examined differences in urinary levels of ten VOC metabolites, total nicotine equivalents (TNE), and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), controlling for covariates such as cigarettes per day (CPD), as well as differences in VOCs per TNE to assess the extent to which tobacco exposure, and not metabolic factors, accounted for racial differences.

RESULTS:

Concentration of metabolites of acrolein, acrylonitrile, ethylene oxide, and methylating agents were significantly higher in Blacks compared to Whites when controlled for covariates. Other than the metabolite of methylating agents, VOCs per TNE did not differ between Blacks and Whites. Concentrations of TNE/CPD and VOCs/CPD were significantly higher in Blacks. Menthol did not contribute to racial differences in VOC levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

For a given level of CPD, Black smokers likely take in higher levels of acrolein, acrylonitrile, and ethylene oxide than White smokers. Our findings are consistent with Blacks taking in more nicotine and toxicants per cigarette smoked, which may explain their elevated disease risk relative to other racial groups.

KEYWORDS:

Racial differences; acrolein; tobacco-related disparities; volatile organic compounds

PMID:
31406274
DOI:
10.1038/s41370-019-0159-9

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