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Pilot Study on the Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Exhaled Breath of Each Cigarette Type
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2021; 12(1): 24-33
Published online June 15, 2021
© 2021 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Young Hwan Cho1, Hyoung Yong Kim2, Jeom Kyu Lee2, Seung Hyun Kim2*

1Division of Health Hazard Response, Director General for Health Hazard Response, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 2Division of Allergy and Respiratory Disease Research, Department of Chronic Disease Convergence Research, National Institute of Health, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju, Korea
Correspondence to: 源듅쁽
샇씉湲걔룹븣젅瑜닿린吏덊솚뿰援ш낵, 留뚯꽦吏덊솚쑖蹂듯빀뿰援щ, 援由쎈낫嫄댁뿰援ъ썝, 吏덈퀝愿由ъ껌
Received April 16, 2021; Revised June 6, 2021; Accepted June 8, 2021.
This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, dis-tribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Since the indoor environments where most modern people live have little space, there is a possibility of exposure to harmful components of smokers breaths. Thus, it is necessary to investigate the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect secondhand smoking by analyzing the components of exhaled smoke.
Methods: From August 2019 to March 2020, 30 smokers and 10 nonsmokers were recruited in the Osong Life Science Complex. For exhaled breath collection, a tedlar bag (1 L) for breath-gas analysis was used. Carbon monoxide (CO) was measured during the collection, and VOCs were analyzed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry after pretreatment.
Results: According to exhaled breath analysis, pyridine, 2-methylfuran, and benzene were detected at a high frequency only in smokers, whereas 2-methylfuran and pyridine were detected in all cigarette and heated tobacco product (HTP) users. The amounts of 2-methylfuran, benzene, isoprene, pyridine, toluene, and pyrrole in exhaled breaths after smoking were significantly greater than in those before smoking. Based on the measured CO, it was difficult to distinguish nonsmokers, HTP users, and electronic cigarette users.
Conclusion: These results demonstrated that 2-methylfuran and pyridine can possibly be used as indicators of smoking status. In addition, secondhand smoking can potentially be evaluated by detecting the VOCs in the exhaled breaths of HTP users. However, further studies on these compounds are warranted to confirm this possibility.
Keywords : Indoor air quality; Secondhand smoking; Tobacco product; Exhalations; Volatile organic compounds
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