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The Biomarkers of Active and Passive Smoke Exposure
Journal of the Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2011; 2(2): 79-88
Published online July 15, 2011
© 2011 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Hye-Young Oh, Yu-Jin Paek*

Department of Family Medicine, Health Promotion Center, Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea
 Abstract
Active and passive smoking have been associated with an array of adverse effects on health. Since the publication of the US Surgeon General Reports in 1996 and 2006, many reports have appeared on the contribution of biomarkers to different facets of the second-hand smoke issue. But tobacco smoke exposure still lacks an ideal method of measurement. Exposure to active and passive smoke can be measured by 3 means: environmental measurements, self-report and biomarkers. Because environmental measurements and self-report have the various biases, biomarkers constitute the most commonly used objective method of ascertaining nicotine exposure. This review aims at defining the sensitivity, specificity, and clinical utilization of different biomarkers used to estimate exposure to active and passive smoking. Of those available, cotinine has gained supremacy as the biomarker of choice. Traditionally, cotinine has been measured in blood, saliva, and urine. Cotinine collection and analysis from theses sources has posed some difficulties, which have motivated the search for a more consistent and reliable source of this biomarker. Hair and nail analysis is a novel, noninvasive technique used to measure of tobacco exposure. Because cotinine accumulates in hair and nail, these are unique method of long-term, cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke. More research is needed to determine and validate the various tobacco biomarkers. There is also a need of technique for high sensitivity with levels of quantification.
Keywords : Passive smokings; Secondhand smoke; Tobacco; Biomarkers; Nicotine; Cotinine
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